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1 • ' 









Fun, fun, fun In the mud, mud, mud! Wn the World Tour and upgrade y( 


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• Dual Shock* Analog Controller support- Vibration so real, you risk whiplash! 

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hidden tracks and buy new vehicles and/or upgrades. 

■ 12 gnarly tracks in 6 real world locations- Go muddoggin', spray rooster tails, blow snow, 
chum up sand and surf- or bash, crash and smash your opponents into boulders, trees, 
cliffs or mud pits. 

. ■ Choose from 20 killer vehicles!- Including all your favorite off-road behemoths- 
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*Minus the faeries, spells, and other crap. 


I 





FALLOUT 2: A f?))ST-NUCLEAR ROLE PLAYING GAME ©1998 Interplay Produclions. All rights reserved- Fallout, Interplay, the 
Interplay logo, Black Isle Studios, the Black Isle Studios logo, and “By Gamers, For Gamers." are trademarks of Interplay Productions. 
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CAMIMC 


PREVIEWS 


The #1 PC Game Magazine ^VV^ORLD 


FEATURES 




42 pages of the 100 best gaming 
bets covering every genre, plus hard- 
ware and stocking stuffers. Rudolph 
would get a hernia if he had to bring 
ail this to you in one night. 



New to gaming? See our Buying Guide on pg. 242 

Action 108 Racing 180 

Adventure 120 Strategy 190 

Role-Playing Games 126 Wargames 202 

Classics/Puzzles 136 Hardware 214 

Simulations 144 Kid's Stuff 224 

Space Simulations 160 Stocking Stuffers 228 

Sports 166 Product Index 104 



MechWarrior 3 

It's the most powerful MECH game yet, and once 
again, CGIV takes you there for the exclusive 
first look. The game was developed by military 
contractors, and they seem as serious about 
MECH 3 as they were about preparing the Army 
for the Gulf War. The result is a MECHWARRIOR 
game that blows away everything that's come 
before it. 



Behemoth 3D Card Roundup 

We test and rate 13 of the hottest new 3D graphics cards. 



Half-Life 

Brains, beauty, and brawn could make it 


the best single-player shooter yet .... 60 

Myth II: Soulblighter 

Bungle builds on its success by 
adding animation, magic, and 
flaming projectiles 68 

Railroad Tycoon II 

Reinventing a classic, this time 

sans Sid 72 

Enemy Infestation 

A bug hunt hellbent on inheriting 
X-COM's mantle 76 


NBA Live 

who needs real 
NBA players when 
you've got NBA 
LIVE 99? .... 81 

Fighter 
Squadron 

Real-world physics 
rule in this 
incredible World 
War II sim , , , 85 

SimCity 3000 

The original city 
builder gets a 
new look, and 
delivers a deeper 
experience . . 88 

Speed Busters 

Take a spin in a NEED FOR SPEED-style racer 
with a gigantic twist 90 




REVIEWS 



HARDWARE 

Hardware News 

Intel's new processor and graphics chips • 
3Dfx's next 2D/3D AGP chip: Rampage • 


Techwatch 302 

Loyd Case 

3D Sucks 306 

Killer Gaming Rigs 311 

Sound Blaster Live 316 

Interlink Deskstick 321 

Quickshot Gen-X 700 321 


Slave Zero 

Requiem 

Euro Splash Whirl 

Holiday Game Glut 



Kenwood Multibeam CD-ROM drive ... 325 
Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite 326 


Logitech Wingman Force Joystick 327 


GAMER'S EDGE 



Might and Magic VI 

Scorpia reaches into her bag of tricks for some 
M&M treats 426 


People's General 

Knowing modern warfare tactics will help 
ensure your victory 430 

Panzer Commander 

Techniques for staying alive and taking out 
targets 434 

Gamer's Edge Tips 


Tips for COMMANDOS, MECHCOMMANDER, 
X-COM INTERCEPTOR, TRIBAL RAGE, 

NAM, GET MEDIEVAL, and 

MIGHT & MAGIC VI 438 


DEPARTMENTS 

Johnny Wilson Do editors pander to their industry friends? 23 

Denny Atkin Building the ultimate flight sim PC from scratch 26 

Terry Coleman Debunking popular myths about PC games 29 

Letters Email missives and submissives 31 

On the Web Re ommended reading on GameSpot and CGW Online 37 

On the CG-ROM Demos, Tools, and Goodies on CD 40 

Reviews Introduction 337 

Reviews Index Three Months of Game Ratings 341 

Top 100 Readers Rate the Top Games 442 

Hall of Fame The Greatest Games of All Time 445 

Greenspeak Complalrr, complain, complain 446 



Rainbow Six 342 

Urban Assault 346 

Deathtrap Dungeon 351 

Stratosphere 352 

Gex: Enter the Gecko 356 

Revenge of 

Arcade Golden Edition 356 


Simulations/Si 


Independence War 358 

F22 Total Air War 361 

iF/A-18E Carrier Strike Fighter 364 

Israeli Air Force 370 

Fighter Ace 1.5 373 

Ares Rising 376 

Spearhead 378 

Warbirds2.01 382 


Sports- . ^ 


NFLGameday99 386 

Motocross Madness 388 

Redline Racer 394 

Tiger Woods 99 398 

Golden Tee Golf 404 



Commandos: 

Behind Enemy Lines 406 

Dune 2000 408 

Warlords III: Darklord Rising 417 

People's General 418 

Emergency: Fighters for Life 420 

TA; Battle Tactics 420 

Legal Crime 420 


Puzzle/Classics 


Notyet 425 

Looney Tunes Cosmic 

Capers Animated Jigsaws 425 

Play This Play That 425 












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with the real and sacrificing your own dream time for Morpheus time. 


‘Morpheus Is a gorgeous looking game. Players will 
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registered trademark and Westwood Studios Is a 
trademark of Westwood Studios, Inc. 3Dfx and the 
3Dfx logo are registered trademarks of 3Dfx 
Interactive Inc. All rights reserved. 






Beyond the portal lies 
the most powerful 
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With Friends Like Us... 

Do Editors Pander to Their Friends and Skewer Their Enemies? 


A newspaper reporter who 
worked the Washington, 
D.C. beat once lectured 
me about fraternizing 
with the industry. He 
complained that you 
couldn't attend cocktail 
parties with the people 
you cover on one night and write a 
critical article about them the next 
day. I protested that his argument 
was based upon his work experi- 
ence, in which people were often 
the issue, and suggested that there 
was a tremendous difference when 
product is the issue. I said that 
good people can and do make bad 
product. I insisted that I could like 
people and not like their products. I 
observed that I had been to numer- 
ous industry parties or events 
where games were touted to which 
we later gave bad reviews. The 
product is what counts. 

Last year, I played golf with a 
CEO who is well-known in this 
industry. I discovered that he had 
thought for years that I didn't really 
like him. He thought his products 
had gotten negative reviews 
because I didn’t like him. Strangely 
enough, I do like the guy and that 
never factored into the reviews. 
Why? Because our duty is to you, 
the readers, not to the people we 
like in the industry. 

Recently, I was out with the 
co-founder of one of the great 


developers in the industry. He 
expressed fear that my anger 
with one of his team members 
(who had unabashedly lied to 
me) was going to hurt them in 
coverage of an upcoming game 
(a potential mega-hit). With sur- 
prise, I reminded him of how long 



we had been friends (recognizing 
that we both have equivalent dirt 
on each other) and of how many 
good, bad, and mixed reviews his 
company had gotten over the 
years. Every time, I pointed out, 
we reviewed the product and not 
him or his team. 

Yet, my biggest shock in this 
area was reading an online posting 
from a major talent in game design 
who dismissed our criticism of his 
product as tabloid-style 
sensationalism from a 
magazine that hasn't 
likedhm or his com- 
pany for a long time. 

During the calendar 
years of this alleged 
vendetta, his company 
won a disproportionate 
amount of Game of the 
Year awards (using an 
award:title ratio) and 
his company got more 
CCkV covers than any 
other company. 


I'm beginning to think that I'm 
perceived as a Don Corleone figure 
by some of these industry leaders. 
"All I wanted was to be your friend, 
but because you have shown me 
such disrespect I must cause your 
products to sleep with the fishes." 
That just doesn't make sense. 

If we, as editors, target specific 
companies and individuals and 
review their products based on 
something other than the prod- 
ucts, our credibility will fail. You 
would be able to tell if we sud- 
denly had a vendetta against 
one company or another. You 
would see a pattern where all 
games by that company were 
treated unfairly. 


Here is the editorial process we 
go through In order to see that 
each product, no matter what we 
think of the people at a given 
company, is treated fairly. First, we 
seek to match the game and the 
reviewer. There is no point having 
a person review a soccer game if 
he hates soccer. Likewise, we 
wouldn’t use a person who 
doesn't know anything about the 
sport. There must be both interest 
and expertise in the subject mat- 
ter and style of the game. 

Second, we expect the review- 
er to play the entire game. There 
is no way to adequately judge the 
play balance, pacing, and fatigue/ 
frustration factor in a game other 
than to play it. Sneak previews 
aren't based on play-balanced, 
paced, and finished code, so we 
don't require the previewers to 
finish the game. However, it is 
vital for reviewers to do so. 

Third, a section editor (the 
editor with expertise within a given 


genre) edits the review. This edit is 
not merely to fix grammatical 
errors, but to ask questions of the 
article. "Is the idiosyncrasy a design 
flaw or a feature? Does the review- 
er have a blind spot? Is this criti- 
cism fair in light of the design and 
state of technology? Is this merely 
a concern to the reviewer or is it 
relevant for most of the audience?" 
Sometimes, this requires conversa- 
tions with the reviewer to hash out 
all of the details. Sometimes, 
changing the copy to reflect a more 
precise wording is necessary. 

Fourth, all of the editors who 
have played any of the game for- 
mally consider the recommended 
rating from the reviewer. The main 


points of the reviewer's criticisms 
are considered and debated 
among the editorial staff before 
the final rating is set and the 
review is published. Sometimes, 
two or more editors will go back 
to play the game to settle a given 
point. The rating is not decided 
until a consensus is reached. 

This philosophy protects you 
from the possible prejudice of one 
reviewer, one editor, or one editor- 
in-chief. The process reduces the 
probability of one person getting 
so angry at one program, one 
company, or one person in that 
company that it transforms a 
review into a hit piece. Our goal 
at Computer Gaming World has 
always been to provide the most 
balanced coverage possible. In 
faa. If someone asked us to have 
a vendetta against a company or 
individual, we'd have to answer a 
la Don Corleone, "That I cannot 
dol You asked for justice. This isn't 
justice!" 



Hie way some industry leaders talk, 
you'd think I had the power to make 
tiieir games sleep with the fishes. 


Jilou would be able to tell if we 
had a vendetta against a companf 


i'.conipjteigiiming.c 


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Killer Flight-Sim Rig 

Building the Ultimate Flight-Sim PC From Scratch 


I f your PC runs a Pentium 1 66 
or slower, you're probably 
frustrated by the system 
requirements of the latest 
round of flight sims. Sure, 3D 
clouds, 1024x768 resolution, 
and detailed virtual cockpits 
are wonderful, but not when 
they run like a slide show on your 
formerly hot computer. 

Playing beta versions of titles 
like WWII FIGHTERS and FALCON 4,0 
told me that the old PI 66 wasn't 
going to cut it anymore. Oh, the 
games would run, but not in all 
their glory. It was time to build a 
PC that could run the next genera- 
tion of sims at full bore. 

Top-of-the-line gaming PCs can 
now be put together for less than 
S1,500. 1 could have purchased an 
off-the-shelf system for about the 
same cost, but by building it myself 
I was able to make sure that my rig 
would have the best mix of perfor- 
mance and sim compatibility. 

Follow me now as I encroach a 
bit on the territory of CGW/Tech 
Lords Dave Salvator and Loyd 
Case and put together an ulti- 
mate gaming machine — one 
that's tuned specifically for flight 
sims. Once you have the parts, 
building a PC requires only a 
Phillips head screwdriver and a 
good dose of patience. Still, if 
you've never done this kind of 
thing, you should find a techie 
friend to help you get started 
The central part of any PC is the 
motherboard, which holds the 
processor, memory, and expansion 
cards. I chose Abit's new BH6 
motherboard for a number of rea- 
sons. It sports five PCI slots In addi- 
tion to two ISA slots and one AGP 
slot, so it gives me room for expan- 
sion. Plus, Abit's designs do away 
with those annoying jumpers, 
allowing you to adjust processor 
speed and other parameters from 
the setup menu. This could be 
important to daredevil users who 
want to overclock their systems. 


For the processor chip, I chose 
the boxed Intel Pentium 11/400. You 
can find bare OEM processors for 
$30 to $1 00 less, but they gener- 
ally come with a short, dealer-only 
warranty — often two weeks or 
less. The extra $30 is worth the 
peace of mind you gel with a 
three-year manufacturer warranty. 

Because the 400MHz processor 
runs on a lOOMHz system bus, I 
made sure to purchase memory 
rated for that speed — a single 
128MB PCI 00 DIMM. I wouldn't 
suggest anything less than 64MB, 
especially if you're going to run 
Windows 98. 



is probably enough for all but the 
most demanding sim fans. 

For 2D video, I wanted a card 
with decent 3D capabilities as 
well for use in sims like FLIGHT 
SIM 98, which can take advantage 
of 3D in a window (the one capa- 
bility 3Dfx cards lack), I chose the 
ATI All-in-Wonder Pro for its TV 
and video-capture capabilities. If 
you are on a budget, the ATI 
XPert98 offers similar capabilities 
without the TV tuner. 

For sound, I decided to stick 
with my vintage Sound Blaster 1 6 
card because of compatibility con- 
cerns. The new PCI-based 3D 
audio cards sound dramatically 
better, but many have compati- 
bility problems with various game 
controllers and real-mode DOS 
games. If you want a PCI solution, 
the Turtle Beach Montego offers 
superb sound and a good level of 
DOS compatibility — although a 
few users have reported conflicts 
with some digital controllers. If 
pure sound quality is king in your 


book, go for the Diamond Monster 
Sound MX200, 

For storage, I chose a Toshiba 
IDE DVD-ROM drive. It cost little 
more than a standard CD-ROM 
drive and also offered the ability to 
watch DVD films using ATI's soft- 
ware player. On the hard-drive 
front, the Maxtor DiamondMax 
1 1 .5GB drive offered both speed 
and plenty of storage. Going with a 
SCSI setup would have offered 
even better performance, but the 
high cost of SCSI hard drives out- 
weighed the performance boost. 

I added a floppy drive, a generic 
ATX case, and a Microsoft Natural 
Keyboard Elite and Intellimouse. 
finally, I plugged in my CH Force 
FX, Pro Throttle, and Pro Pedals, 
and installed Windows 98. 1 fired 
up the rig, loaded the beta version 
of WWII FIGHTERS, and the game 
ran silky smooth at 1024x768, 
Mission accomplished! Now I had 
a rig that would run the hottest 
games at full speed— at least for 
the next year or so. . . . 


It's time to build a PC that can run the 
next generation of sims at full bore. 

After the processor, the most 
important component for flight 
sim performance is the 3D video 
card. Because I was shooting for 
both ultimate performance as 
well as maximum game compati- 
bility, I chose a pair of Canopus 
Pure 3D II Voodoo^ cards. 

Although there are now other 
chips that can match the speed of 
the 3Dfx Voodoo^, only the 3Dfx 
cards support all three major 3D 
standards: Direct3D, OpenGL, and 
Glide. By adding the second card, 
you get a slight speed boost as 
well as access to a maximum 
z-buffered resolution of 1024x768 
(versus 800x600 with a single 
card). Note that a single Voodoo^ 


PUSHING IT TO THE LIMIT— AND BEYOND 


It used to be that the best 
pricc/performance ratio came from 
buying the second-fastest Intel 
processor. That's what I chose to 
do, selecting a Pentium 11/400 
rather than the only marginally 
faster 450. But if you're adventur- 
ous, you can put together a very 
speedy system for hundreds less by 
purchasing a 266MHz Intel Celeron 
chip and installing it on a board 
like the BH6, which allows you to 
overclock this under 5100 chip to 
400 or even 448MHz. A 400MHz 
Celeron will run the typical PC 
game at about the same speed as 
a 300MHz Pentium II. What's the 


downside? When you overclock a 
chip, you can shorten its life, 
potentially damage system compo- 
nents, and sometimes end up with 
an unstable system. Some chips 
may not work at all at 400MHz. 
Because of this, CGW's official 
stance is that we don't recommend 
overctocking. But if you're on a 
tight budget and want to live on 
the edge, the 266MHz Celeron 
paired with a board like the BH6 
may be the ticket to cheap speed. 
For more information on overclock- 
ing, check out www.sysopt.com/ 
overc.htm! and jeffshardware. 
computerhcaven.nei. 


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Iomega Internal ZIP Drive 100MB 
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Toshiba 3rd Generation DVD Player 
ATX Full-Tower Case 300 Watt PS 
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Taiwan’s bold political activities challenge the 
power of Mainland China. With the fury of an angry 
dragon, China reacts — crushing the upstart and 
expanding its empire. Soon 19 nations are drawn 
into conflict World-wide war begins... 


PEOPLE’S general; the second 
generation of the critfcally'-acclafmed 
Panzer General* II, features: 

> New ultra-modem and 
prototype weapons. 

P- New ‘'hide and seek” capabilities. 
>■ New unit design flexibility. 

>■ New Air Mission System. 


CHOOSE from over 200 task forces and Oght as either Chinese 
or Western Alliance forces. Deploy weapons systems such as 
Ml A3 and T-99 Main Battle Tanks, Werewolf Attack Helicopters, 
Starstreak Surface-to-Air Missiles and more. New 16-bit color 
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to this strategy epic of 

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Visrt your retailer or call 

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^l^olher trademarks and registered trademarks are the propirf/oMheir tespeclive holders. 

^|3o to #11 2 @ www.computergaming.com/lnfolink 


b(|rhetoarnihg Cor 







Myth Busters 

Stories That Aren't Fit to Print, but Circulate Anyway 


E very year has its share of 
pseudojournalistic bits 
about the computer gam- 
ing industry. My favorite 
from 1997 had several 
journalists — none of 
whom had evidently 
played a game prior to 
1995— questioning whether Sid 
Meier (who gave us PIRATES, 
RAILROAD TYCOON, f-19 STEALTH 
Fighter, and a number of action 
games) could design a real-time 
strategy game. As these "scoops" 
get repeated, gamers who are usu- 
ally rational start worrying, and 
fevered debates dominate many a 
newsgroup. 1998 is no exception, 
and so my holiday gift to you is a 
bucket of cold water. I hope you 
find dousing these "burning fires" 
as refreshing as 1 did. 


Myth #1: Turn-based 
Games Are Dead 
Rubbish. Anyone who has 
enjoyed MIGHT & MAGIC VI knows 
that a lot of the game's appeal 
comes from having both turn- 
based and real-time modes. As we 
go to press, PEOPLE’S GENERAL is 
selling well, and I doubt that EA 
will demand anytime soon that SID 
MEIER'S ALPHA CENTAURI have a 
real-time option. On my most 
recent road trip, 9 of 12 publishers 
had a turn-based strategy game in 
development, and the other 3 were 
considering turn-based titles to 
balance out their product lines. 
Look for titles like CHAOS GATE, 
JAGGED ALLIANCE II, and BIRTH OF 
THE FEDERATION to snap turn-based 
games out of the doldrums. 

Myth #2: Real-time 
Games Are Dying 
More rubbish. The recent poor 
sales of several real-time strategy 
games (RTS) have alarmed the 
retail industry, which always feels 


most comfortable when analyzing 
sales trends from two years ago. 
(Remember — these same retailers 
were still embracing the 8-bit con- 
sole market up to the last feeble 
twitching of its death throes.) If we 
are to believe the sales figures, 
more than three dozen RTS games 
lost money last year. 

While this situation is alarming, 
it has more to do with lack of 
design talent than anything else. 
Most of the bad RTS games were 



ever really in the wargame busi- 
ness, which is admittedly a bit of a 
stretch. I-Magic's sales have never 
threatened to eclipse those of 
TalonSoft or SSI, even with quasi- 
historicai titles such as SEVEN 
KINGDOMS. 1-Magic did publish the 
GREAT BATTLES OF HISTORY series, 
of which JULIUS CAESAR is still 
worth a look. The odd thing is that 
while 1-Magic has given up on 
bringing the rest of the Great 
Battles boardgame series to the 
PC — a real shame for fans of 
Samurai \n particular (where are 
the Koei guys when you need 
them?) — it is using the Erudite 
Software engine from GREAT 
BATTLES for a totally new game, 
NORTH VS. SOUTH. CEO Bill Staley 
can talk all he wants about crafting 
"mainstream hits" since 1-Magic 
went public, but the truth is that 
the company needs sales and cash 


you're going to be suffering some 
serious withdrawal pains. If you 
can show a little patience, you'll be 
fine. FIGHTING SAIL looks to be 
everything that GREAT NAVAL 
BATTLES wasn't, and Grigsby and 
Brors are hard at work on STEEL 
PANTHERS IV. 

Myth #5: The 
Industry Is Doomed 

For the past several years, vari- 
ous Wall Street pundits have com- 
plained to everyone who would 
listen that the computer gaming 
industry was doomed by "bad 
business models." 

The truth is. wherever you have 
vulture capitalists, panic follows 
soon after. Aside from companies 
like cue — which claimed, in a fit 
of creative accounting, to have lost 
money with back-to-back million- 
sellers WARCRAFT II, DIABLO, and 


The retail industry always feels most comfortable 
when analyzing sales trends from two years ago. 


so unoriginal that they'd be just as 
awful when played turn-based. In 
any case, whenever you have a 
fresh idea combined with challeng- 
ing gameplay, your product sells — 
as the megabits STARCRAFT and 
AGE OF EMPIRES show. 

The real question is this; Can 
RTS games successfully break out 
of their C&C/WARCRAFT emula- 
tion mode or will they grow 
increasingly stale and lose 
momentum? A good litmus test 
will be how well MYTH II and AGE 
OF EMPIRES II do. 

Myth #3; 1-Magic Is 
Getting Out of the 
Wargame Business 

First, you have to assume that 
the folks from North Carolina were 


flow. Call it what you will, but a 
Civil War game is a wargame, and 
if NORTH VS. SOUTH sells halfway 
decently, 1-Magic will certainly do 
more titles in the series. 

Myth #4: SSI Is Getting Out 
of the Wargame Business 
The funny thing is that this 
almost happened five years ago. If 
the original PANZER GENERAL (PG) 
hadn't turned into a big hit, SSI 
was all set to go with sci-fi and 
fantasy titles. Without PG, there 
would have been no STEEL 
PANTHER series and, likely, no 
TalonSoft. Now, the question is one 
of degree: If you expect SSI to 
crank out 10-12 wargames a year, 
you'd better be dusting off your 
copy of AGE OF RIFLES because 


STARCRAFT — anyone who puts 
money into a software venture 
(especially a PC game) and expects 
to get it back in a year, complete 
with interest, is doing some drugs 
they should share with me. 

It's regrettable that companies 
make mistakes and go out of busi- 
ness, but change is a good thing. 
My guess is that in years to come, 
the industry will continue to grow 
in fits and spurts, and you'll see 
more small outfits pop up. I hope 
they won't all be indentured ser- 
vants of EA or Microsoft, but they'll 
be around. And the best of them 
will crank out games that surprise 
us and aggravate us and keep us 
up late at night. May all the games 
you get under this year's tree do 
half as much, 


A 


v.computergaming.c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 199B 


Rigor Motorist 





/bsHSH 

i»'»£V 





Tai^eting Canada 


Y our October issue had a disturbing ad for a Psygnosis 
game called Global Domination (page 103). The ad 
says "BAD DAY? Take it out on Canada (no hard 
feelings, eh?)." I'm Canadien and I know lots of 
people who are Canadien who subscribe to your 
magazine, and we're not ready to take this kind of crap. Some of 
them are considering canceling their subscription to your mag (not 
me), so you guys and the people at Psygnosis should lay off the 
crap about Canada because you might lose some of your 
subscribers here. 

We’ re not holding you guys directly responsible but blaming you 
a bit for putting that dumb ad in the magazine. 

— Hugh Jass 
Via the Internet 

Johnny Wilson responds: Your letter conhrms the dreaded 
rumors we had heard of the demise of a Canadian sense of humor. 
We didn 't want to believe it. Canada has been the source of some 
of our best humorists and some of the freshest television comedy. 
Yet, it seems that some Canadians don 't understand the 
ridiculously hyperbolic nature of the Global Domination ad. 

For the record, I did not have the opportunity to review the ad, 
but even if I had I wouldn't have rejected it. Also, for the record, I 
think the Canadian National Anthem is FAR better than the U.S. 


I 


BAD DAY? 


* 4 : 


Take it out on canai^ 

(no hati fee^ eh?) 


COUINGSOOR 


SI 


national anthem; the Canadian government's approach to the arts 
is far more enlightened than that of the U.S.; that the Canadian 
Rockies are more impressive than the U.S. Rockies; that lacrosse is 
more exciting to watch than golf (heck, curling is more exciting to 
watch than golf); that your House of Commons Is more interesting 
than our House of Representatives; and that Montreal will once 
again be a great hockey team. 

Incidentally, what kind of a name is Hugh Jass? Sounds like one 
of Bart Simpson's phone pranks. "Is there a Hugh Jass there?" 

add-on for Diablo. 


Synergistic Software 

Your November Read.Me article 
("For Sale: Cendant Software," pg. 
371) failed to mention another 
"important entity" that was 
affected by the CUC takeover of 
Sierra On-line et al: Synergistic 
Software. Synergistic was founded 
in 1 978 by Robert and Ann Clardy. 
The company produced more than 
1 50 titles, including Thexder and 
Spirit OE Excalibur, and more 
recently Birthright and Hellfire, the 


cue's acquisition of Sierra 
precipitated the disintegration of 
the Synergistic division — which 
was purchased by Sierra in 1995 — 
last year. However, the founders 
are currently in negotiations to 
form a new development company, 
working title "Eclectic Games." 

— JeffRenaud 
British Columbia, Canada 
Via the Internet 


Loyd Worship 

One of the best features of your 
magazine isn't printed on gloss 
stock. It's not a fold-out. It's not 
even a cover story. It's a person, 
Loyd Case. I've been a reader for 
years as well as a subscriber. I 
wanted to know what games I 
should buy hopefully in time to 
avoid buying garbage, so I turned 
to you. I've also been a bit of a 
system builder to support these 
games. Over the past six months. 
I've been building my own version 
of a cross between Loyd's No Holds 
Barred and Lean Machines, as my 
budget permits. Using the 
components in these machines as a 
loose guide 1 built a machine which, 
by all accounts, should keep me 
happily gaming for another two 
years. I ran each important part by 
Loyd Case. Despite his busy 
schedule, Loyd added his two cents 


where appropriate and eased my 
mind about what I was about to 
buy. Last week, I bought the last 
piece of this system, the CPU, I was 
thrilled! I'd been testing the system 
previously with a borrowed CPU 
and all went well. BUT, with the 
new CPU I was getting errors. 

Through lots of research, phone 
calls (no thanks to Microsoft's 
"support"), and sleepless nights I 
started to see a light at the end of 
the tunnel. That light was amplified 
when Loyd gave me his insights as 
well. In the end the problem was 
resolved (Ultra DMA requirements, 
Seagate Medalist Pro 6.5 GB drive, 
integrated IDE, and of course MS 
Windows 98 all played a part). 1 
would like to formally thank Loyd 
Case and Computer Gaming World 
for their parts in getting my system 
online and ready to play. With a 
guy like Loyd on your staff, you 


/. computergaming. c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD ■ DECEMBER 1998 


A 



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Go to #257 @ www.computergaming.com/infolink 


.n 







COMPUTER 

GAMIMC 


ThoWIPC G.-»mc Mogi«!.ia R l_ D 


Features Editor Denny Atkin (Simulations) 

Reviews Editor Terry Coleman (Wargames) 

Technical Editor Dave Salvator (Hardware) 
Associate Editor Jeff Green (Adventure, SporU) 
Associate Editor Robert 'Machine Gun' Coffey (Action, Strategy) 
Assistant Editor Allen Greenberg 


Thierry "Sci 


;er" Nguyen 


iditor Unda Y, Fan 
ors Scorpia (Adventure Games), 
Charles Ardai (Interactive Fiction), Loyd Case (Hardware) 
Founder Russell Sipe 


Art Director Dan Fitzpatrick 
Associate Art Director Steven Wanczyk 

Production Director Carlos Lugo 
Production Manager Martin Walthall 
Electronic Prepress Group 
Manager Michele Kellogg 
Assistant Manager Tamara Gargus 
Technician Roger Drake 


Address questions and feedback to: 

CGIVEditorial, 135 Main St., 14th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105. 
Oryou may contact us via: 

Phone: (415)357-4900 
Editorial Fax: (415) 357-4977 
CGWIetters®zd.com 

Web site: vvvvw.computergamlng.coni 


Associate Pubiisher Suzanne Reider (415) 357-491 5 
East Coast Sales Manager Laura Pitaniello (212) 503-4851 
East Coast Sales Assistant Megan Moran (212) 503-3926 
Southwest Sales Manager Pat Walsh (949) 851-2556 
Southwest Sales Assistant Sandy Marciniak (949) 852-5914 
Midwest Sales Manager MarciYamaguchi (415) 357-4944 
Silicon Valiey/Northwcst Sates Manager 
Oru Montgomery (415) 357-4925 
Marketing Manager Sat Sharma (41 5) 357-4935 
National Account Rep Joann Casey (41 5) 357-4920 
Advertising Coordinator Leslie Ventimiglia (415) 357-4930 
Assistant to the Publisher Linda Fan (415) 357-5425 
Account Representative Tallie Conner (415) 357-5226 


Address inquiries to CGtV Advertising, 135 Main St, 14ih Floor, San 
Francisco, CA 94105; or call (415) 357-5398, fax (415) 357-4999. 


Vice President Jon Lane 
Business Manager Cynthia Mason 
Associate Business Manager Shelley Dickerson 
Executive Director, Marketing and Research 

Randy Cohen 


setlption service questions, address changes or ordering Inform 
30 within the U.S. and Canada. Mt other countries call (303) EC 


n, call (303) 
i3)E04-7445 or write 
ox 57167, Boulder, CO 80322-7167. The one year 
issue) subscription rate is 527.94 in the U.5.. and 543.94 outside the U.S.; the rate 
one year (12 issue) subscriptions with the monthly CD-ROM Is 542.94 In (he U.5., 
id 558.94 outside the U.S. Checks must be made payable in U.S. cunerKy only to 
Computet Gaming World. 


Back issues can be purchased for 58 in the U.S. and 510 outside die U.S. (CD-ROM version 
not available], Prepayment Is necessary. Chedis must be made payable In U.S. cunency only 
to Computer Gaming World. Mail your request to Bark Issuers, ZD, Inc, P.O. Box S3t 31, 
Boulder, C0 80322-313t. 


We periodically make Kstsofour customers available to mailenofgoo^ and services that 
may interest you. If you do not wish to reorve such mailkigs, please write to us and indude 
a copy ot your malTrog 1^. 


guys aren't just a gaming magazine, you're a 
computing professional's magazine too. Keep 
up the good work! 

— Jim Pierce 
Tacoma, WA 
Via the Internet 

CH F-16 Combat Stick 

Let me congratulate you on a great 
magazine. I received the October issue at 
work, and found great reason to shirk my 
responsibilities. I was equally excited when I 
saw Dave Salvator and Loyd Cases' 
contribution on the "Killer Rigs" page. Just 
what I needed— I'm in the market for a good 
flight stick for under $50. Once I saw the CH 
F-16 Combat Stick on the list for $34. 1 
immediately jumped onto the CH Products 
Web site. Only once I got there, much to my 
dismay, I saw the CH F-16 priced at $89! 

What gives? 

— Steve Murphy 

Unfortunately we did print the wrong 
price in the October issue. However we 
have seen the F-16 Combat Stick on the 
street for $49. In addition, Flight Sim 
Central has the Jane's F-16 Combat Stick, a 
slightly higher-end model, for $69. 
Pricewatch reports two entries around $60. 


The $89 price is only if you order it directly 
from CH Products. 

Wherefore Art Thou Scorpia? 

it has been 4-5 months since the last of 
Scorpia's articles or columns graced the pages 
of the magazine. She was the best reviewer of 
the sort of games I've always enjoyed that 
CGWhas had (I've been reading the magazine 
forever 12 years now), and I've looked in vain 
a couple of times at these Web sites that are 
supposed to be where CJl4/has a Web 
presence, without seeing anything about her 
or written by her, What's the deal, folks? 

— Kiwi 
Via the Internet 

kVe think she ran off with Martin Cirulis. 
Just kidding. Scorpia is alive and well and will 
continue to review games forCGW. She 
offers her patented brand of dungeoneering 
pointers this month on Might & Magic VI, and 
next month she'll be back with a new game 
review. Everyone needs a little time now and 
again to shaipen their claws. 

Really, It's Hard Work 

I just finished reading your articles in the 
October issue of CGW. 1 look forward to each 
issue and your often humorous slants on 



Now ftet'sforce feedback! 


A 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


v.computcrgamlng.c 


Chairman and CEO Eric Hippeau 
Chief Financial Officer Timothy O'Brien 
Presidents 

ZD Publishing Claude P. Sheer 
ZD Market Intelligence Bob Brown 
ZD Comdex and Forums Jason Chudnolsky 
ZD Brand and Market Services Terri Holbrooke 
ZD Internet Productions Oan Rosensweig 
ZD Education William Rosenthal 
ZD Television UrryW.Wangberg 

Senior Vice Presidents Rayna Brown (Human Resources} 
Daryl R. Otte (Planning and Development) 

Vice Presidents Steve Gladyszewski (Information Services) 
J. Malcolm Morris (General Counsel and Seaetaiy) 

Mark Moyer (Controller) 

Tracy Nadi (Human Resources, Operations) 

Treasurer Thomas L. Wright 

Corporate Sales Joe Gillespie (Executive Vice President) 

ZD Media Network Jeff Bruce (Executive Director) 
Scott Murphy (Executive Director) 

Rita Burke (Managing Director) 

ZD Brand and Market Services 

Brooke Correll (Vice President, ZD Brand Marketing) 
Michael Perkowski (Vice President, Client Marketing) 
Elda Vale (Vice President, Corporate Research) 

Herb Stern (Vice President, ZD Brand Management) 
Gregory Jarboe (Director, Corporate Relations) 


President Claude P. Sheer 


Executive Vice Presidents 
Don Byrnes 
Chris Dofabrow 
Jack Dolce 
Al DiGuido 
Thomas McGrade 
Michael J. Miller 


Senior Vice President Nancy Newman 
Vice Presidents 

Bob Bader, John Dodge, Kathleen Goodwin, Roger Herrmann, 
Jonathan Lane, Eric Lundquist, Jim Manning, Charles Mast, James F. 
Ramaley, Paul Somerson, Mark Van Name , Sam Whitmore 

Executive Director, Licensing Gertrud Borchardt 

Director, Benchmark Operations Bill Catchings 

Director, ZD Labs Lauren Black 

Editorial Director, New Products Bill Machrone 

COMPUTER GAMING WORLD (ISSN 0744-6667} is published monthly by 
Ziff-Davis. Copyright ® 1 998 Ziff-Davis. All Rights Reserved. Material in 
this publication may not be reproduced in any form without permissmn. 
If you want to quote from an article, write to Chanfal Tucker, One Park 
Avenue, New York, NY 10016-5802, or fax 212-503-5420, 




Computer Gaming Worl 


ZIFF-DAVIS 

SOFTBANK 
company 


01 affiliated with IDG. 


Audit Bureau of 
Circuialiom 
Member 

ABC 

AUDITED 



For reprints, please call Ziff-Davis 
reprints at (800) 825-4237. 


technology and software. This latest couple 
on video cards and "how graphic work" 
articles helped me decide exady what I'm 
looking for in a video card. I do enjoy your 
expertise. Though I am a little jealous of your 
ability to be paid for "playing" with the new 
equipment. 

— BillSzuch 
Via the Internet 

Fresh Filler 

Since Jeff Green's article in your October 
issue, I've made it a point to only read the ads 
and pass over those annoying "filler" articles 
in your fine magazine. While flipping through 
November's issue, I came upon Empire 
Interadve's ad for 101st Airborne in 
Normandy. What immediately struck me was 
the shield insignia, a United States flag. Gone 
was the trademark screaming eagle of that 
most famous WW I! airborne unit. ! checked 
back issues; sure enough, the screaming 
eagle appeared in all previous ads. Where did 
the screaming eagle insignia go? Can you 
make a right turn off the elevator and ask 
sales why the eagle was replaced? 

I also spotted Advent's ad in the November 
issue. After seeing the picture of the woman 
chained and collared like an animal, I deep- 
sixed my Advent speakers and went shopping 
for a different vendor. 1, of course, referred to 
your "filler" article on speakers before 
making my choice, 

— Sir Galahad 
Via the Internet 

Good question. We tried to ask sales, but 
they were out evidently getting new coifs. 
None of the guys who do filler knew, and we 
weren't able to reach anyone at Empire. We 
suspect someone representing the lOlst-an 
active U.S. Army unit~-wasn 't flattered that 
their insignia was used for advertising. Best 
not to mess with the Screaming Eagles. 

CGW Archivist of the Month 

One of my favorite parts of the magazine is 
the Hall of Fame. I feel that every game on 
the list deserves to be honored. However, I 
have noticed mistakes with the dates listed 
next to the games {which 1 am assuming are 
the original publishing dates). I know for a 
fact that I was playing Gunship long before 
1989. However, not being an established or 
well-known expert on the subject, I decided 
to do some research on the matter before 
bringing it to your attention. Of course, I 
relied on my primary source of computer 
gaming information, and it did not let me 


down. If you will took at issue number 54 of 
your fine magazine, the December 1988 
issue, you will see that Gunship is already in 
the Hall of Fame. Also note that SiimCity, a 
game reportedly published in 1987, is not in 
the Hall of Fame or even on the top 50 
strategy games list. 

— Travis Hamer 
Via the Internet 

Thanks for alerting us about the incorrect 
date for Gunship. It was released in 1987, the 
same year SimCity came out. SimCity started 
off slowly in our ratings because it was 
originally a Macintosh game. Even then, there 
were few Mac gamers. Later, SimOty cracked 
the magic list and set sales records. 

Amphetamine Boy 

I recently entered a contest to win a 
Voodoo^ where they asked to describe in 50 
words or less why you deserve to win this 
prestigious prize. My reply was as follows: 

I want to know what it feels like to have 
your mouth turn inside out, shooting your 
teeth through the back of your skull, to have 
your tongue stretched so you can now scratch 
the back of your head, and to not care about 
it because your eyes have enlarged 4x their 
normal size, and you can't feel your body 
cause your jaw has tom away all the skin and 
smashed your toes in one supersonic motion. 

Are you saying you wish to deny me of this 
experience? NOOOOOHll 

— Drew Fortey 
Via the Internet 

Try taking our tech editor's 3D card away 
from him, and you can experience all that, 
plus being thrown from the Golden Gate 
Bridge and shot before you hit the water. 


DEPT OF CORRECTIONS 
In our November issue, we incorrectly 
listed a price of S29.95 for NASCAR Racing 
1999 EomoN. The new edition is actually 
549.95, but Sierra offers a S20 rebate for 
owners of NASCAR Racing It. The 1999 
Edition includes a full version of NASCAR 
Racing 2, updated from the 1998 season, 
plus the Busch Series Grand National and 
the Craftsman Truck series. 

In our November story about Cendant 
software, we identified HFS, the company 
that merged with CUC to form Cendant 
Corp., as Household Finance Services. HFS 
actually stands for Hospitality Franchise 
Systems. We apologize for the error. 


/.compulergaming.c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » JULY 1998 




the Age of Empires Expansion: The Rise of Rome. ^ 

'ays and punishing Fire Galley— all on new and challenging '’^***’ 

nan maps. Plus, this highly anticipated Expansion Pack 
ides features four new campaigns and production queues to 

/ 0 _ carefully plan your historic civiliaation's growth. 

'f . So visit www.microsoft.com/gamcs/aoccxpansion 

and start extending Age of Empires into a new era 
of world domination. 


going where you always 
wanted it to go: Rome. In addition to the Roman 
Empire, this official Expansion Pack also includes 
the legendary civilizations of Palmyra. Macedonia, and ^ 

Carthage, each with their own strengths and 
weaknesses. Test your mettle with new units like the 
crafty Camel Rider, powerful Scythe Chariot, fearless Slinger, 


Microsoft 



ON THE WEB 


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Plug In for the Latest News, Reviews, Demos, and Strategies 



F or the best in gaming, turn to the experts at GameSpotand CGW Online. You'll find a wealth of 
news, reviews, and previews as well as cool demos and hard-core strategies for all of the hottest 
games. You'll also find excellent technical advice and game-based hardware reviews from 
technical guru Loyd Case. Don't waste time or hard-earned cash — when you need accurate 
information, read what the pros have to say at www.gamespot.com. 


Special Reports 

ECTS '98 News Coverage! 

GameSpot UK pulled out all the stops and— 
with some help from GameSpot U.S., ZDNet 
UK, and PC Gaming l^/'or/i^— posted definitive 
news coverage of this year’s European 
Computer Trade Show. The big games were all 
there, including Diablo II, Max Payne, Daikatana, 
Half-Life, Klingon Honor Guard, and more. 




B e sure to make GameSpot's 
GameGuides.com your one-stop 
shop for strategy guides on the Web. 
Just enter www.gameguides.com in your 
browser to find strategies, hints, tips, and 
walk-throughs for these games: 

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 
As secret operative Six, you'll learn the 
best way to lead your team of 
commandos through some of the 
toughest anti-terrorist campaigns this 
side of La Femme Nikita. Check it out on 
the Web or download it! 


Sybex's Unofficial Final Fantasy VII 
Strategies and Secrets 
You get a complete walkthrough: game- 
breaking strategies, hints, and tips; 
incredible tables for every monster, item, 
weapon, and materia; and advice for 
breeding chocobos! 


Learn the best path through each level, 
the puzzle solutions, the locations of 
secret rooms, the strategies for defeating 
all the foes, and 
the game- 
breaking cheats. 


Other Strategy Guides: 
StarCraft 
Soldiers at War 
Aae of Emoires 


Hot Reviews 

GameSpot is ready for the holiday rush 
with tons of reviews to help you in your gift- 
buying (and receiving) frenzy, Check out 
these top picks: 

Rainbow Six 

Take control of an international team of 
supersecret operatives, doing the dirty work 
other nations wouldn't publicly touch, While 
generally better than Spec Ops, Rainbow Six 
carries its own baggage, especially where the 
conflict of realism vs. gameplay rears its ugly 
head. Find out why you should stuff your 
stocking with this action game. 

Commandos: 

Behind Enemy Lines 

This sleeper strategy game will please 
fans of strategic combat, puzzle-solving, 
and WWII era warfare alike. GameSpot's 
Greg Kasavin found it a genuinely original 
game of tactics, planning, and precision. 

Mortal Kombat 4 

Midway's popular fighting-game 
series goes 3D — and gets an excellent 
translation on the PC. The fourth time 
around the game has gone polygonal, 
giving the developers much more 
leeway when it comes to adding new 
moves, holds, and characters. 

GameSpot had an expert review this 
game — videogames.com reviews 
editor Jeff Gerstmann. 

Warlords III; 

Darklords Rising 

Command a fantasy army in Warlords III: 
Darklords Rising, the game that reaffirms Red 
Orb's franchise as one of the best strategy 
series around. It's what Reign of Heroes fans 
have been waiting for. 


Motocross Madness 

Microsoft's new driving game offers 
everything you could hope for in a motocross 
simulation and then some, with its multitude 
of modes and good terrain graphics. Hop on 
your bike and get ready for some virtual 
motocross fun. 


A 


/.computergaming. com 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD • DECEMBER 1998 








H 0 U I R E S 


eccELEnnroii 


SELECTED TO 

LEAD THE ROGUE 

ISQUADROJSr IN 

f COMBAT AGAINST 

THE EMPIRE. 


ERE'S YOUR DRAFT CARD 


\AMM% Your draft card? A 3D accelerator card, of course. It’s the mandator)- hardwai'c 

* ® ncccssan' for \'ou to enlist in a brand new. raoid-fire Star Iliiis air combat 

experience - Rogue Squadron 3D. Immerse I'ourself in the role of Luke 
Sk\’\\’alker. leader of the Rebel Alliance’s elite air corps, as \-ou pilot a bniad lange 
of well-armed starfighters. From X-wings, Y-wings and A-wings to snowspeeders, 
)'ou'Il be able to unleash Rebel weaponry on the evil Empire in o\’cr 15 missions (day and night) - each spanning the \-ast iVar Ilni^ 
universe. Blast AT-ATs. Til;, fighters. Imperial shuttles and more. Strap in, young Skywalkcr. It’s the fight (and flight) of your life. 


Go to #185 @ www.computergaming.com/infolink 



ON THE CC-ROM 


Speed Thrills 

Hit the Road With Four Racing Games and 15 Demos 




I f you love driving or racing games, this is the 
demo disc for you. Our lead demo, Need For Speed 
III: Ho; Pursuit, is the new arcade racer from EA 
that showcases beautiful 3D acceleration and has 
force-feedback support. Speed Busters, previewed 
in this issue, is another hot racing title on this 
month's disc. In it, you'll get to race the 
Hollywood track and sample the damage 
model. If you’re into either realistic 
motorcycle or Grand Prix racing, check out 
Castrol Honda Superbike World Champions or 
Johnny Herbert's Grand Prix 1998, 

Friends, Romans, countrymen: boot up the 
Caesar III demo. You'll get to play two scenarios 
focused on city management. 

Flying fans should load up Israeli Air Force to get a 
break from the all-American sim fare. Also check out 
iF/A-1 8 Carrier Strike Fighter. 

For action fans, we've got Return Fire 2, Jazz 
Jackrabbit 2, Crop Circles, and Montezuma's Return, the 
3D-accelerated sequel to the classic platform game, 
Montezuma's Revenge. 

Strategy lovers will get into the People's General 
demo or Knights & Merchants. Whatever your interest, 
with 1 9 demos on this month’s disc you're sure to find 
something that turns you on. 


PRODUaNAME 

PLATFORM 

DIRECTORY/DEMOS 

EXECUTABLE 

3D Railroad Master 

W95 

3D Railroad Master 

setup.exe 

Caesar III 

W95 

Caesar III 

caesar3.exe 

Crop Circles 

wgs 

Crop Circles 

crop1100.exe 

Earthlink opt 1 

W95 

Earthlinki 

/win95/setup.exe 

Earthlink opt 2 

W95 

EarthlInkZ 

/win95/setup.exe 

Front Office Football 

W95 

Front Office Football 

frfdemo.exe 

Grand Prix World Champions 

W95 

Grand Prix 

setup.exe 

iF/A-18E Carrier Strike Fighter 

W95 

iF/A-18E 

if18demo.exe 

Israeli Air Force 

W95 

Israeli Air Force 

iafdemo.exG 

Jazz Jackrabbit 2 

W95 

Jazz Jackrabbit 2 

j2swc123.exe 

Knights and Merchants 

W95 

Knights & Merchants 

demo_120,exe 

Meridian 59 Insurrection 

W95 

Meridian 59 

setup.exe 

Montezuma's Return 

W95 

Montezuma's Return 

mrdem126.exe 

Need for Speed III 

W95 

Need for Speed III 

nfsdem.exe 

People's General 

W95 

People's General 

setup.exe 

Plane Crazy 

W95 

Plane Crazy 

planecrazydemo.exe 

Return Fire 2 

W9S 

Return Fire 2 

rf2s3d.exe 

Sentinel 

W95 

Sentinel 

setup.exe 

Speed Busters: American Highways 

W95 

Speed Busters 

spbdemo.exe 

SuperBike World Champions 

W95 

SuperBike 

setup.exe 

TEN/Wulfram 

W95 

TEN 

setup.exe 


How to Use the Disc 

4ie CD is AutoPlay-enabled and should begin upon 
loading it into the CD-ROM drive. Otherwise, from the 
Start Menu in Windows 95, type D:\RUN-ME (where D is 
the letter of your CD-ROM drive) to run it straight from 
the CD. You may type DEINSTALL to create a CGW 
program group on your Windows desktop for future 
fun. To run, many demos require the disc to be in 
the CD-ROM drive in order to run; therefore, we 
recommend installing the demos from our disc. 


To Get the CD-ROM 

T o subscribe to the CD-ROM version of CGW, call 
(303) 665-8930. If you already receive the 
magazine without the CD, you must wait until your 
current subscription expires before receiving the CD 
version. Please address subscription complaints to 
cgw@neodata.com. Neodata is a magazine fulfillment house, 
which is not owned or operated by Ziff-Davis. 


December CD Titles 


A 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD ■ DECEMBER 1998 


/. computergaming.com 







C “ FIWeERS FLYING AND YOUR SEIZES 
:EL' -G er EMeftRKiNG ON THE Mt^T 
'•'y -BiTING ADRENALINE-PUMPPg 
iNBALL EXTRAVAGANZA EVER HjJ ' 
HE HIGHWAYS. OOZING CHARACTER jj 
ORIGINAUrY FROM EVEim' 'M 
PORE, BIG R.ACE USA WILL LEAVE 
YOUR WHEELS SPINNING AND 
YOUR HEAriT POUNDING. 


Tha first pinbati game EVER to include a real-time “head-to-head” mode 
for exciting two player action (via LAN and Internet) 

* Fun “road trip across America” theme, featuring 16 major cities as play zones, 
W^E brought to life with fantastically detailed 3D graphics 

Multi-b all fe^re allows up to 10 BALLS in play at one 

Innovative Dot Matrix screen provides “game within the game” action 
o Customizable table slope, flipper strength, outlane 
^9|w|N|^^^|^BHH||H|H^slingshot power and tilt sensitivity 

Loaded with features and surprises around every turn r 


4,&£aaiK#.\ 




ACTUAL SCREEN SHOT! k 


empire 

1 N T E rIaCTIVE 


lire-us.com Tel: 1 800 216 9706 


)85 @ www.computergaming.com/infolink 





INTO 


SINK YOUR TGGTH 

B thematically unique battle environments 
which, when consumed together, create 
a wholly new gaming experience. 

As you progress, you'll be force fed . 
the most challenging and terrifying / 
alien action ever seen before in a i* 
space-based action game. 


So open up the hatch 
and let 'er rip! 


SupErior artificial intElli- 
gsncE provides unlimited 
variation in game play. 


Full 3D acceleration card 
support. Software mode 
available. 


Multi-player support with 
up to six players. Full 
DireetPlay support lets 
you play on internet, LAN, 
modem or direct serial 
connections. 


Dead Reckoning supports user add-on levels 
(Editor Included). Additional levels submitted 
by users will be available for free download 
from time to time at www.deadreckoning.net. 
Check www.deadreckoning.net regularly for 
future contests, add on levels and updates. 




Forco Feedback 
Compacible 


PifiiilidInliracliwPiidlshinj lie.. IP39 lint Orth. Suite 0. leinpi OrizuittSOliS. (002] 091 ISOO. luuuipirwkiiitiricliKi 



THIS mUCH 






Edited by Ken Brown (Ken_Br0wn@2d.com) 


Giant Killer 

Be One Big Badass in SLA VE ZERO 


A 



G iant robot games are becoming as common as a wasp in your beer, 
but SLAVE ZERO takes an entirely new approach: Enormous 
mechanical warriors duke it out amid towering cityscapes, grab- 
bing pedestrians, hurling vehicles, and spraying fire on anything 
that moves. 

If, by some act of a very considerate God, you were put inside a 60-foot, bullet- 
spraying, rocket launching, biomechanical robot, probably the last things on your 
mind would be heat management and waypoints. No, most likely you'd be try- 
ing to hit a skyscraper with a bus you just picked up. SLAVE ZERO lets you 
do this and then some, in gigantic, futuristic city environments 
teeming with targets — er, life. The amount of activity is dizzy- 
ing, with screaming pedestrians, speeding vehicles, 
swooping attack helicopters, crumbling structures, 
and, of course, other giant robots. 

At the center of this maelstrom is you, part of 
a larger rebellion force striving to wrest con- 
trol of the city away from an evil dictator. 

The odds seem hopelessly stacked against 
you ever since the development of the 
dictator's Slaves, huge biomechanical 
combat units. Fortunately, you just 
happen to get hold of one and thus 
begins your destructive march 
toward peace. 

While the design team has solid 
roots in the giant robot arena 
(director Sean Vesce was lead 
designer for MECHWARRIOR 2), 
the focus in SLAVE ZERO is on 
action and interactive environ- 
ments instead of the sparse 
environments in most giant robot 
sims. To create the game's huge, 
destructible cities and allow for 



Here's why it wouldn't be much fun playing 
SLAVE ZERO as a pedestrian. 



meticulously detailed animation, the team spent 
several months creating the Ecstasy engine to 
drive the game. Judging from what we've seen, 
you couldn't ask for much more, The Slave anima- 
tion, in particular, is spectacular, with a fluidity of 
movement that lends this behemoth an almost 
simian grace, 

The single-player game takes place from a third- 
person perspective. While not having a first-person 
perspective for this sort of game might seem odd, 
watching your alter ego violently stomp through 
the world is a large part of the fun. There will be 
16 missions, each with specific, uncomplicated 
objectives. The missions will grow from being 
mostly ground-based to emphasizing the vertical 
nature of the game's towering cities. Accolade is 
being tight-lipped about level locations, but 
expect at least one acrophobic nightmare of 
rooftop-leaping combat and a slimy wade through 
the city's cavernous sewer system. 

Multiplayer specifics are still being hammered 
out, though straight-ahead deathmatches are 
definitely planned. The team is considering other 
options, including one mode where players will 
have to forgo weapons and instead battle by 
throwing cars, trucks, and anything else they can 
grab at each other. We're really hoping this idea 
makes the cut. 

Slated for a late Spring 1 999 release, SLAVE ZERO 
is one of the most promising action titles on next 
year's horizon. Look for more car-stomping, 
building-ripping coverage in CGW's upcoming 
cover story. — Robert Coffey 


Angel of Death 

REQUIEM Lets You Smite Your 
Foes the Old Testament Way 

C raving some good old fashioned, "eye for an eye" biblical retribution? Then REQUIEM: 
AVENGING ANGEL might be the manna from heaven you've been waiting for. After a 
group of rebellious angels (the Fallen) sets out to destroy mankind, the Big Guy 
himself selects you to go straighten things out. As the angel Malachi you take on human 
form to square off against the Fallen and their hideous minions. 

requiem's thunderous action sprawls across 30 levels based in such realistic locales as 
power plants, hospitals, refugee camps, and cities, as well as the more fantastic environ- 
ments of space stations and the gore-slicked bowels of Hell. You'll be confronted with ene- 
mies such as demons, mind-controlled soldiers, and the Fallen themselves. While we only 
had a limited alpha version to play, all the enemies displayed a daunting viciousness sure to 
satisfy the run-and-gun crowd. 

REQUIEM will also feature lots of NPC interaction as a core facet of gameplay. 
Conversations with ordinary citi- 
zens will flesh out the plot and 
open up new levels. Scripted scenes 
executed in the game as opposed 
to rendered cut-scenes will also 
provide hints and story details. It 
should add up to a more engaging 
world than the average shooter. 

With the usual assortment of 
machine guns, grenade launchers, 
and sniper rifles, REQUIEM'S 
weapons likely won't strike anyone 
as special. It shouldn't matter — 
gamers will be too busy using 
Malachi's angelic powers to notice. 

There are about two dozen different powers, both offensive and defensive, and they will be 
what truly defines REQUIEM. Enemies can be turned into crumbling pillars of salt, set upon 
with stinging plagues of locusts, torn apart by divine lightning, or have their blood boiled 
until they convulse, squirt blood, and explode into meaty chunks. Defensively, you will have 
shielding powers, an enemy-repulsion capability, and the ability to resurrect the dead to 
fight on your side. 

Cyclone Studios has developed their own engine to drive the game, and it's looking 
good. The bloody halls of Chaos pulse and are scabbed with the twisting, tormented 
bodies of moaning penitents: lighting effects enrich explosions and fireball-like Brimstone 
power; and some especially cool particle effects make the Turn to Salt power a thing of 
malevolent beauty. 

Throw in eight-player deathmatches and multiplayer options that could include pitched 
battles between teams of Chosen and Fallen, and REQUIEM: AVENGING ANGEL has the look 
of a winner. Look for it to hit the shelves in early 1 999. — Robert Coffey 



Boil a bad guy's blood and watch him pop like a blood-gorged tick. Hallelujah! 



^.compiitorgaming.c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD ■ DECEMBER 1998 






Max Payne 


characters. This game makes 
RESIDENT EVIL look positively 
bright and cheery. 


Braveheart 


O kay, when we saw this title at 
E3 under its original moniker, 
TARTAN ARMY, we wrote it off as 
"MYTH in skirts." While it still 
appears like that, a closer look at 
the more fully developed version 
on show at ECTS showed it to 
actually be one of the standout 
titles of the show. Because the 
battles re-created in the game are 
the same ones from the Mel 
Gibson drama, Eidos licensed the 
name and turned the game into 
BRAVEHEART. The connection to 


Nocturne 


A Jolly Good Show 


E lio, mate! Fancy a look at the top sights of 
the European Computer Trade Show? 
Alright, then, but when you've had enough 
of the birds, check out these games! 


variety of vampires, werewolves, 
ghosts, zombies, and other annoy- 
ing members of the undead club. 
The real-time shadow effects are 
spectacular, and the storyline 
seems promising too: The devel- 
opers are trying to capture a 
1930's pulp magazine style. Over 
the course of the quest-driven 
storyline, you’ll play nine different 


Remedy>Giiliiering of Developers 

This third-person action adven- 
ture under development in 
Finland makes TOMB RAIDER look 
like a Commodore 64 game. 
Framed cop Payne is out to prove 


his innocence and avenge himself 
in underground New York. Far 
from being your standard shoot- 
fest. Max Payne is a John Woo 
movie made silicon, with slow 


motion shootouts (where even 
discarded bullet casings can be 
seen) and a hero who will do for 
women gamers what Lara Croft 
did for men. The game's weapons 
are all based on real-world equiv- 
alents. While this may not be rev- 
olutionary, the modeling of the 
weapons is. MAX PAYNE 
will feature a 3D particle- 
based system, so that 
muzzle flashes are both 
randomized and more 
realistic. The same can be 
said for the smoke trails 
that issue from hot gun 
muzzles. The realism of the 
gun modeling goes all the 
way to the bullets them- 
selves, which are actually mod- 
eled and rendered as they leave 
weapons at real-world velocities, 
following realistic trajectories and 
causing believable damage. 


As for Payne, he'll have 
plenty of moves, and so will 
his opponents. It was a pleasant 
surprise to see opponents dive 
into the scene, fire a few shots, 
and roll for cover, rather than just 
standing there shooting back as 
you fire at them. The graphic 
detail is amazing — even the graf- 
fiti on the walls is perfect. And the 
story is as important as the action 
here — over 80 comic-book-style 
interludes set the scenes for the 
various action sequences. 


Take 2/Gathering of Developers 

W e've never seen a game that 
does such a good job of 
capturing a dark, forboding 
atmosphere. Due in the fall of '99, 
NOCTURNE is a third-person 
action-adventure that pits you 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD • DECEMBER 199B 


/.tomputergamrnR ■ 






Taisho: Total War 


the film is the use of the main 
characters as generals for your 
armies. The game itself is far more 
than a battle-fest. Although the 
motion-captured MYTH-perspec- 
tive battles were quite impressive, 
we were just as impressed with 
the kingdom-management 
portions of the game, which 
embodied the better elements of 
DEFENDER OF THE CROWN, CIVIL- 
IZATION, and CASTLES. This is one 
to watch. 


Kingpin 


Inlerplay/Xatrix 


K ingpin is not just another 
QUAKE !l-engine game. 
Developer Xatrix, best known for 
REDNECK RAMPAGE and the first 
QUAKE II mission pack, has added 
so much to id Software's creation 
that it looks better than UNREAL. 
KINGPIN is not just a blaster but an 
action adventure, where animated 
vignettes unveil the plot at key 
intervals. The criminal underworld it 
portrays is incredibly atmospheric, 
as are the characters who populate 
it. Unlike most 3D characters, these 
are intensely detailed, from their 
tattoos and night vision goggles to 
their ever-changing facial expres- 
sions, Very impressive, 


shadow Company 


at the height of the Samurai age. 
The real-time element is in gor- 
geous DARK OMEN-style 3D, with 
variable camera angles. It has 
incredible depth of view, allowing 
thousands of troops to be 
onscreen at one time. Even at this 
early stage troop control and 
movement is impressively man- 
aged by the engine. See our pre- 
view next month. 


Tamsari 


Psygnosis 

P sygnosis describes Tamsari as 
"more grotesquely violent than 
MORTAL COMBAT," and it's hard to 
dispute that claim. Tamsari is a 
first-person 3D action game based 
on the story of a chap called 
Tarshi who is trying to piece 


O ne of the more interesting 
titles to debut at ECTS was 
this 3D, real-time adventure from 
Munich-based developer Discreet 
Monsters. Don't confuse this with 
the cutesy children's movie; this 
game is based on Michael Ende's 
original book, which in its native 
Germany has sold almost as many 
copies as the Bible. It's a much 
darker tale than 
the movie as the 
hero, Atreyu, 
comes up against 
the evil scorpion 
queen, Gaya. 

Gameplay is 
heavily linked to 
the storyline and 
includes puzzles, 
combat, character 
interaction, and exploration. 


Interactive Magic 

O ne of several strategic 
squad-based games that 
appeared at ECTS, SHADOW 
COMPANY was arguably the 
stand-out. You're a mercenary 
commander whose 
team has been 
stranded in a cen- 
tral African war 
zone when a corpo- 
rate client backed 
out, and now you 
need to survive and 
avenge yourself. 

To complete the 
seven campaigns, 
each of which has 


between 10 and 30 mis- 
sions, you must rely on 12 
mercenaries whose different 
abilities hold the key to 
your survival. You'll also 
have your pick of weapons, 
including rifles, grenades, 
and flame throwers, plus 
vehicles that include 
boats, cars, bikes, jet skis, 
and snowmobiles. The 
3D-enhanced graphics iook very 
tasty, and SHADOW COMPANY is 
sure to be a winner both in terms 
of visuals and gameplay. 


F ans of the recently deceased 
Akira Kurosawa and the televi- 
sion series Shogun wW delight in 
The Creative Assembly's impres- 
sive new strategy and war game. 
It combines /?/s/r-style macro- 
strategy with real-time warfare 
It's set circa 1 6th century in Japan 



Special Cholesterol-choltecl Holiday-edition. 

30 Ultra NASCAR Pinball Dyrmt 

04 ’98 

loth Planet Bstbesda 

04 ’93 

101st Aatonie in Normandy Empire 

04 ‘98 

20K leagues Under the Sea Sn^k 

04 •38 

Age of Empires II EnseirMMcosoii 

01 ‘98 

Alien vs. Predator fw 

04 '38 

Asheron's Call Turblne/MicTasoll 

04 '98 

Baja 1000 Rating Red Orb 

01 ‘93 

BalduYs Gate Inlerplay 

04 

Battle of Britain lalonSofl 

04 '98 

Beneath Acinic 

Ot'99 

Big Brother Me(£aX 

04 '98 

Birth of the Federation UcoProse 

04 'K 

Blatkstone Chronicles tegendSSI 

04 ‘38 

Canal Soccer 99 Irdograrres 

04 

Carmageddon 2 Interplay 

04 ’98 

Centipede 3D Hasbro 

Q4’98 

Cnilization: Call to Power Mmn 

or99 

Combat Hight Simulator Mkoosoh 

04 '98 

Confirmed Kill Erdos 

04 '98 

Conflict of Nations Sega 

04 ‘98 

D-Jump Ubi Soil 

04 '98 

Daikatana ton Sinm/Etlos 

04 '98 

Dark Side of the Moon SoutliPe^ 

04 ‘38 

Dark Vengeance GT kiteraaKe 

01 '98 

Dawn ofWarEAiVir^ 

Of ‘98 

Delta Force Novalo^ 

04 '98 

Descent III toplay 

04 '98 

Diablo II e&zrard 

02 '99 

Dominant Species Red Sterm 

04 •98 

Drakan Pqgnosis 

Ql'99 

Duke Nukem Forever IDRe^ 

04 '98 

Dungeoo Keeper 2 GuHfrog/EA 

04 '98 

Earthworm Jim 3D Interplay 

04 '98 

ESPN National Hockey Night Rarkol 

04 '98 

ESPN NBA Tonight RaK^ 

04 '33 

ESPN X-Games Pro Boarder Radicai 

04 ■98 

Expert Pool Psygrwis 

Q1 ‘99 

Extreme Warfare Red Orb 

Q4‘98 

European Air War UicroPtose 

01 ‘98 

Falcon 4i) IRuoRrose 

04 -gs 

Fallout 2 tmegilay 

04 "gs 

Fatal Abyss Segasofl 

04 '38 

Fighter Duel 2 kifogrames 

02 '99 

Fighter Squadron Aamskn 

Q4'9a 

Fighting Steel SSI 

Ql'99 

Final Countdown Impact 

01 ■99 

Hanker 2.0 SSI 

Ql'99 

Fleet Command lane’s^ 

0r99 

Fivi aao: 

Q4'98 

Force Commander locasAns 

03 '99 

Gabriel Knight 3 Sierra 

Qr99 

Giants Irtterplay 

01 ‘99 

Global Domination Psygnosis 

04 '98 

Grim Fandango locasAiis . ' 

04 '98 

Harpoon 4 SSI 

02 '99 

Heavy Gear 11 Actwaoi 

04 ‘98 

Heretic tlRj«i'AciMsion • ■" 

Q4’98 

Heroes of M&MIIMDO 

04 '98 

Hexplore Inlogrames : 

04 ’98 

Homeworld Sterra 

01 '99 

House of the Dead Sega 

04 ‘98 

Hype: Time Quest Ubi Soft 

01 ‘98 

Indiana iones/lnfemal Machine luoWls 

02 '99 

International Rally Championship THQ 

04 '98 

Interstate'BZAoivision 

01 '99 

Jack Nkklaus Golf Acbvtsiotr 

Q4‘38 

King's Quest Mask of Eternity Sierra 

Q4‘93 

Klingon Honor Guard UooProse 

04*98 

Kno^out Kings EA Sports 

01 ’99 

Lands of Lore 3 Westwood/EA 

04 '98 

Jagged Alliance 2 Sir-leUi 

04 '98 

Legend of the Blademasters Ibpcord 

01 ‘99 

Legend of the Five Rings Aontiai 

04 ‘98 

Luftwaffe Commander SSI 

04 

Madden NFL 99 EA 

04 '98 


v.CDmputergjming.( 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


READ 









Welcome To 

Blackstone 

Asylum 

Fasten your straight-jacket. It's time to immerse yourself in the chilling world of John Saul's 
Blackstone Chronicles': An Adventure in Terror - the first collaborative effort 
BETWEEN NY Times best-selling author John Saul and Legend Entertainment. Stunning 24-bit 
artwork surrounds you in the evil that is Blackstone Asylum - where tortured 
spirits from the past offer you the only hope of saving your missing family. 


And your sanity. Bon appetit. 


jjILEGEND 


JOHN SAOL'S 


www.Blackstone-Chronicles.com 


in Saul's Blackstone Chronicles: An Adventure in Tenor (D199B Uindscaiie, Inc. All riiihts reserved. John Saul's name and likeness arc the properly ol John Saui, 

The original novel 'The Siacksionc Chronicles" @1997 John Saul. Used under license by Mlndscape. Inc. in conjunction with Legend EniertainmenL 
VJindovrs Is a regisiered irademark or trademark o< Mictosoll Corporation in the United Slates andror other countries. All oiher trademarks and 
copyrtghis are the property pi their tespecirve holders. 

Go to #191 @ www.comDuteraamina.cotn/infolink 







Will You Be 

Dressing 

For ( 
Dinner? ' 





Jeff Gordon is pushing NASCAR racing to the extreme - shattering records and winning races at an 
electrifying pace. And now, he’s climbing into the drivers’ seat of another lifelong passion; gaming. But 
as co-designer of Jeff Gordon XS Racing, he’s putting more into the game than just a name. Instead, 
Jeff is creating a unique and exciting racing experience unlilte anything you’ve ever seen. An extreme 
racing experience that takes you into the future of speed, and leaves all other racing games behind. 


Windows® 95 

I PC CD-ROM I 


Developed by 


ASC Gnmos"’' Isn Irndcm.-irk ol American Soltworks Corporation. @ 1998 American 
Sollworks Corporation. Jell Gordon® XS Racing'*^ is n Irndcmark of American Soltworks 
Corporalton. ®1998JG MolorSporls inc. Developed by Rcai Sports. ©PepsiCo, Inc. 1998 
@1995 PEG Limited Partnersbip and PEG 97 Limited Partnership. Windows® 95 is a 
registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. The ratings icon is a trademark of the interactive 
Digital Sollware Association. 

Ail rights reserved. 




mpioT] 


li yttiDf'is 


gpM nringj 


Jeff Gordon 


The Future of Racing Arrives March 1 999 

Go to #116 @ www.comDuteraamina.com/infolink 


www.ascgames.com 



MechWarrior III MicoPiaH 

q2 '99 

Messiah 

Q1 '99 

MiG 29 Fulcnim OoAoK 

QJ‘96 

Moqiheus 

Q4'98 

Myth II: Soulblightei 

QJ'9S 

NASCAR Racing til E3p)?os>Ceniant 

QJ'98 

NFL Gameday 99 989Siudios 

04 '98 

NHL 99 FA 

Q4'9S 

North vs, South Inie'ecd.'e Magic 

Q4'98 

Oddwodd: Abe's Exodus QT 

04 '95 

Omiltfon Ddcs 

01 

Outcast Infogianie 

02 '99 

Pamer Elite Psj-gMsis 

Q1 '99 

Populous III: The Beginning EA 

04 ‘93 

Poweislide GT 

Q4‘98 

Piey 30 Reai^isGI 

Q2 '99 

Pro Pinball; Big Race USA En^e 

Q4'98 

Professional Sports Car Racing Vrgin 

04 “SS 

Quest For Glory V Siena 

04 '98 

Quest For Glory V; Dragonfire S«;a 

Q4'98 

RailfoadTycQon IIPooTop 

Q4'98 

Rayman 2 UbiSoft 

04 '98 

Rebel Moon Revolution GT 

04 '98 

Redline Accc^ 

Q4'98 

Requiem 3D0 

Ql'35 

Return Fire IIR^d 

04 '98 

Return to Krondor Siena 

04 '93 

Revenant Eidos 

Qr99 

Road to Moscow I Magic 

04 '93 

SegaRally2Sega 

04 '98 

Settlers III Sice 6)te 

04 '93 

Shadowman Adainr 

04 

Shadowtun FA^ 

04 "98 

Shattered Ught Simon & Schuster 

01 'W 

Shattered Reality LOinie<^ie 

04 '38 

Shogo ^<onol^th 

Q4’9a 

Sid Meier’s Alpha Centaurl Fuaxi&EA 

04 '98 

Sierra Sports Basketball Pro 99 Sieira 

qi '98 

Sierra Sports Footiiall Pro 99 Siara 

Q4'98 

SimCrty 3000 Mads 

Q4'98 

Slave 2ero Aaoiade 

02 '99 

Smart Games 3 Smart Games'HastKO 

Q4'98 

Space Bunnies Must Die Ripco'd 

Q4 93 

Speed Tribes THQ 

04 '98 

StarConAcQ^ 

04 '98 

Starship Troopers MicoPiose 

04 '98 

StarSiege Seira 

01 '98 

StarSiege: Tices 

01 '98 

Starwulf lir'ense 

Ql '99 

Star Trek: Birth of the Fed M^roProse 

04 '98 

Star Trek: Klingon Academy MkioPtose 

04 '93 

Star Wars; Rogue Squadron lucasarts 

Q4‘98 

Sword & Sorcery 

04 '98 

Test Drive 5 Acccdade 

Q4'98 

Test Drive; Off Road 2 Accolade 

Q4'98 

Theoaacy interacthe 

04 '98 

Thief; Dark Project fute 

04 '98 

T. Clancy's Ruthless.com Red Storm Accolade QA '98 

Tomb Raider III Eidos 

04 '98 

Tomorrow Never Dies UGM 

Q4'98 

Total Annihilation: Kingdoms Cacedog 

Qr99 

Trans-Am Racing '68*'72 G! Interacdie 

04 '98 

Ultima Ascension OnghEA 

04 '93 

Ultra Fighters I Vagi: 

04 '98 

Uprising 2 3D0 

04 '98 

Vigilance Segesoft 

04 '98 

V-Rally Inic^ames 

04 '93 

Vulcan Fury hiterp^ 

04 '93 

Wargasm kdogian'es 

04 “SS 

War of the Worlds GT ioiemcir.f 

04 '98 

West Front TaianSolt 

0498 

Wheel of Time legerul'GT Irweiact'rre 

02 '99 

Wings of Destiny F^nods 

Qr99 

Witardry B Sideth 

Qr99 

WWII Fighters lane’srEA 

04 ‘98 

You Don't Know Jack4 Beii^ 

04 '98 


Updates: cgwpipeline@zd.com 




Galleon 


Wargasm 


ECTS 


together the pieces of an 
ancient magical sword, which 
the game is named after. 
Motion capture is being used 
to make the game realistic 
from a martial arts point of 
view, with a World Karate 
Champion used to create 
Tarshi. Grotesque it certainly 
is — one of the methods we 
saw of dispatching an enemy 
was to split him from head to 
foot with a sword.... 


EldosKonfounding Factor 


G alleon will be the first 

game from Confounding Factor, the developer set up 
by Core Design and TOMB RAIDER veterans Toby Guard 
and Paul Douglas. As captain Rhama— explorer, trader, 
and buccaneer — you're put at the helm of the clipper 
Endeavor on a thrilling nautical adventure. Borrowing 
more than a little from the Sinbad movies, you'll fight 
off skeleton armies and pirate attacks, uncover mysteri- 
ous shipwrecks, and gel involved in supernatural 
shenanigans. Confounding Factor claims that Rhama will 
be one of the 
most agile 
characters ever 
created, 
thanks to a 
proprietary 
animation 
system that 
allows for 
ultra-realistic 
movement. 

Has Lara met 
her match? 


combat. But here Gremlin has 
done something a little differ- 
ent, enabling you to guide your 
every sword stroke or string 
together a series of moves 
which makes fighting simple 
and effective. Could this be 
England's answer to ULTIMA? 


Galleon 


iniogrammcs 

N ice name, groovy game. A 
fast-paced, 3D combat game 
that combines joint operations 
between tanks, armored fighting 
vehicles, and infantry. One of the 
surprise hits of the show, it was 
designed to show off DiD's next- 
generation graphics engine. This is 
the most impressive hybrid of 
action and strategy we've seen 
since BAnLEZONE. 


Compiled by the chaps at PC 
Gaming World (CGW's UK edition) 
and America's own Denny Atkin. 


F rom the designer of REALMS 
OF THE HAUNTING comes a 
classic RPG in which you play a 
character reborn to take on the 
old enemies who destroyed him 
and now threaten the world. It 
uses a top-down view which 
shows off the intensely detailed, 
3D-accelerated landscape to 
good effect. The graphics are 
incredible, and the gameplay 
underneath is rock-solid. Quest, 
exploration, and character inter- 
action combine with magic and 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


ir.computergaming.c 






Say hello to Microsoff' Sidewinder' Precision Pro and Game Pad. Your one-way ticket 
to better play. Unbearably accurate and reliable, you'll command the game in a way 
you've only dreamed about. Of course, buttons can be fully customized. And with 
their ergonomic design, you'll find the buttons exactly where you want them. At 
your fingertips and under your thumb. The perfect place to kick some serious butt. 


PrecisionPro 


0 1 998 McrciscA Corpoiation. Al ri^ (cserved. Mcroson and SideWindet nio eifficr 
re^steied tradeiraAs ot bndcmaite cH MicrosoR Cuporaton n the United Stales 
and other countries. 

0 1998 Dectromc Ails. John Madden Foolbal iind EA SPORTS arc Iradumadis 
or registered iradernarteOtBectrtnic Arts in thoU&andbrahCr countries. AIngte 
reserved. Otloiitiy Uccnsod Product ol tlie Nalional Football Lcagiio Plnyets. O 
1998 Players Inc. The PLAYERS INC loan is a rogislered trademark o( the NFL 
Players. NFL UalotUls 0 1998 NFLP. 


Want more? Visit microsoft.com/SideWinder 






1 ^ 1 ^ 1 ' n 









Experience the tension, thrills and 1 

flnlv aulck reactions and sheer g^na 

, .1 the ground. 

power-doms. h 

speed of an arcade-style game. 

skill wll see you through dte Pnlsh line. 





Buy equipment and tune your 
plane's performance. 




www.segas 0 ft.com/planecra 2 y 


199B SegaSoH Networks, Inc. All rights reserved. SegaSott, the SegaSoR logo. HEAT, HEAT.NET and 
the HEAT.NET logo aro trademarks of SogaSoR Networks, Ina Plane Crazy is a trademark of Inner 
Workings Ltd. Plane Crazy Game 0 1998 Inner Workings Ltd.Tlie Inner Workings logo is a registered 
trademark In the UK and the European Union. Windows is a trademark of the MIcrosoR Corporation. 
The ratings icon is a trademark of the Interactive Digital Software Association. 

Go to #1 61 @ www.computergaming.com/infoiink 


f^iiiAi. Racing _ 




Anyone can fly a plane in the 
open skies. But only a razor- 
sharp, thrill-hungry speed freak can 
wing it at low altitude through a 
gauntlet of canyons, cliffs and city 
streets without becoming ground 
meat. Crosswinds, down drafts and 
a posse of other insane pilots 
shooting power-downs up your 
fuselage mean this is a race to the 
finish! So come hungry. Come low. 
Come fast... 

Or don't come at all. 










The Battle For Shelf Space 

A Cool Quarter-Mil Helps Ensure You See That Game 


T his Holiday season, as you await new 

games with visions of cyborgs dancing in 
your head, distributors are struggling des- 
perately to put those games in front of 
you. Each year there are many more new games 
competing for about the same shelf space. Since 
three-quarters of all games sold are purchased in 
stores, and December sales can account for one- 
fourth of a game company's revenue, all the 
ingredients are there for an ugly fight. 

"it's a competitive bloodbath," says Allan 
Blum, chief operating officer at Gathering of 
Developers. "I don't know of any other industry 
that has this kind of environment." Blum refers 
not only to the competition for shelf space, but 
also the competition among retailers to under- 
cut each other. "Most clothing retailers carry 
different brands, but software stores all carry 
the same thing," he says. "All they can do is try 
to beat each other on price." 

In their zeal to lure customers with lower 
prices, major retailers often wind up cutting 
their own throats, according to Ann Stephens, 
veteran retail analyst at PC Data. "Retailers as a 
whole are selling games at no markup, on 
average. They’re using their best sellers as loss 


December Game Sales 


Year 

PC Game Titles 

Units Sold in Dec 

Dec Revenue 

Total Annual Revenue 

Dec '92 

1,139 

3,623,552 

$117,110,351 

$375,660,339 

Dec '93 

1,315 

4,384,174 

$144,544,479 

$636,667,875 

Dec '94 

1,835 

4,694,400 

$190,054,285 

$808,011,857 

Dec '95 

2,266 

7,018,760 

$235,217,720 

$914,741,525 

Dec '96 

2,420 

8,958,603 

$279,883,330 

$1,072,306,763 

Dec '97 

3,150 

11,751,269 

$313,031,040 

$1,293,621,614 

Dec '98 (Est). 

3,780 

14,101,522 

$344,334,144 

$1,409,918,197 


Source: PC Data 


It's a competitive bloodbath. I 
don't know of any other industry 
that has this kind of environment 

— Allan Blum, chief operating officer, Gathering of Developers 


■ 



"1 

CCW Survey Here’s what you're blowing the most time on. 




Last Month Months on Chart 1 

1. 

StarCraft (Biisard/Cendant) 

"t ■ 

4 

2. 

Might and Magic Vi (3DO) 

2 

3 

3. 

Quake ii (id Sdftware/Activksion) 

3 

6 

4. 

Final Fantasy V(l (Eidos) 



4. 

Age of Empires (Ensemble/Microsoft) 

4 

7 

6. 

Diablo (Blizzard/Cendant) 

5 

19 

7. 

Jedi Knight (LucasArts) 

8 

9 

7. 

NASCAR 2 (Sierra/Cendant) 



7. 

Unreal (GT) 

5 

3 

10. 

Jane's F-15 (Origin/EA) - 

Based on a monthly survey mailed to CGW subscribers. 

This differs from the readers' overall “iiuaUty ranking' in the Top 100 


PC Data Best-sellers 





Last Month Average Price I 

1. 

StarCraft (Blizzard/Cendant) 

1 

$39 

2. 

Deer Hunter (GT Interactive) 

4 

$20 

3. 

Diablo (Blizzard/Cendant) 

8 

S21 

4. 

Unreal (GT interactive) 

2 

S37 

5. 

Rocky Mountain Trophy Hunter (GT interactive) 6 

S18 

6. 

Cabela's Big Game Hunter (Activision) 

7 

920 

7. 

Microsoft Flight Simulator (Microsoft) 

16 

SSI 

8. 

Myst(RedOrb) 

9 

S19 

9. 

Final Fantasy Vil (Eidos) 

3 

$45 

10. 

Police Quest Swat 2 (Cendant) 5 

The iop-selilag PC games as of August calculated by PC Data (Reston, VA). 

$45 


leaders, and taking budget software and making a 
profit on it. Generally it's averaging out to zero." 

How are they making money? Many haven't. In the 
last five years, one-third of software retailers have 
sought credit protection under Chapter 1 1 . And while 
most big retailers have mail-order wings and online 
sites, online, sales still represent a small fraction of 
total units. According to Stephens, most people who 
use mail order are buying expensive business apps. 
The average game retail purchase is S30. 

Retailers do, however, manage to make money. 

Much of it comes from a special premium they charge 
to shelve a game in quantity. This is gaming's dirty little 
secret: nearly every game company pays hundreds of 
thousands of dollars to make sure you see their title in 
stores. All the major players pay in the range of 
$50,000-75,000 per retailer for end-cap space during 
December, according to numerous sources. 

These fees, known as Market Development Funds 
(MDF), are where the retailers are making money on 
games, according to Stephens. "It's the grocery store 
model. But there are a lot of problems with that 
model— if a retailer isn't making money on titles, 
there's no reason to care what they stock. That means 
the publisher and retailer aren't playing the same 
game anymore — they don't both have a mutual 
interest in quality. The consumer in one way will suffer, 
The buyer will get cheaper software, but he may not 
get what he wants." — Kert Brown 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD ♦ DECEMBER 1996 


ipulergaming.< 




WWW.PLANESCAPE-TORMENT.COM 

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Go to #261 @ www.computergaming.com/infollnk 


d Dungeons & Dragons, Torment, it 
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0 owners. 




i The 3D0 Company. All nghls reservea, Uprising, lead and Do5lroy,300. and thair xsspecUva logos, aie Irademaitia ot lagtslered (rademaiKs ot The 3DO Comp-iny ip ^ U.^a^rothei countries. AH i 


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Presenting the hottest action game of tlie year. Uprising"'' 2: Lead and 
Destroy delivers sci-fi warfare like you’ve never seen, thanks to an 
intense mix of action and fast-paced battle tactics. Command brigades 
of sci-fi troops, high-tech tanks, gunships ajid bombers, vvliilc fighting 
right beside them in the trenches. The outdoor environments? bully 3D 
realistic and stunning. The interface? Streamlined and scorching. The 
weapon effects? Blazing. The missions? Deep and dramatic. Lead and 
Destroy. And discover the heat of intense, planetaiy warfare. 

Go to #246 @ www.computergaming.com/infolink 



www.3do.com 


YOUR BEST SOURCE FOR THE HOTTEST GAMES IN DEVELOPMENT 


Half-Life 


Brains, Beauty, and Brawn Could Make This the Best Single Player Shooter Yet 



by Robert Coffey 

I ith every other 
f action title hol- 
lowly promising 
bloodier carnage, 
prettier eye candy, 
and scarier mon- 
sters, what can a 
game really do to 
set itself apart from the pack? 

How about delivering a com- 
pelling story along with the may- 
hem? How about creating a 
believable, realistic world then dis- 
torting it so wildly that the gamer 
shares the protagonist's confusion, 
surprise, and fear? How about cre- 
ating a rich gaming environ- 
ment loaded with interac- 
tive objects and people 
that, instead of being 
simple props, 
enrich and define 
play? These are 
the sort of 
things that the 
shooter genre 
has been 


THE GREAT 
OUTDOORS 
Just because 
most of HALF-LIFE 
is grounded in 
reality doesn't mean 
it's visually dull. 

Sweeping outdoor locations 
and spectacular explosions 
help make it a graphically 
rich game. 


' GENRE: Action 
; RELEASE DATE: Q4 '98 
i DEVELOPER: Valve 
PUBLISHER: Siena Studios 


lacking, and it looks as if HALF- 
LIFE is set to deliver them. 

Plot Twists 

The story behind the game sets 
up its dizzying marriage of non- 
stop action and narrative. You are 
Gordon Freeman, a research scien- 
tist at the top-secret Black Mesa 


complex, a decommis- 
sioned underground 
missile base. During a 
slightly less than rou- 
tine day, an experi- 
ment goes terribly 
wrong, ripping a 
cross-dimensional 
portal to an alternate 
universe, Unfortun- 
ately, the creatures on 
the other side of the 
gateway have a keen 
interest in interdimensional 
real estate and a disquieting 
propensity for violence. 

Since monsters continually 
enter the now-devastated com- 
plex, you must make your way to 
the surface— killing monsters; 

CIA operatives sent to erase all 
evidence of the incident (includ- 
ing you); and government agents 
planting explosives to destroy the 
base. It’s not just your life at 
stake: If the government succeeds 
in blowing up the base, all those 


HALF-LIFE gen- 
erates a lot of 
its characters 
and immer- 
siveness from 
cinematic 
grace notes 
like this scien- 
tist who is 
desperately 
trying to 
revive this 
guard. 


nuclear warheads they've forgot- 
ten will create some freshly Irra- 
diated beachfront property in 
Missouri. 

While this sounds like a tradi- 
tional "you against the world" 
shooter plot, HALF-LlFE's execution 
sets it apart. The game opens with 
a long tram ride as you enter 
Black Mesa. Movie-style credits 
flash by as you descend into the 
complex, riding through deep 
canyons, cavernous interior stor- 
age areas, and winding tunnels. 
When the credits end the game 
begins, but not with the bullet- 
spraying bang of other first-person 
shooters, instead, you leisurely 
make your way through the facili- 
ty, chatting with fellow scientists 
and perhaps dropping by the cof- 
fee room on your way. After you 
don your HEV environmental pro- 
tection suit you make your way to 
the lab. Security guards engage 
you in small talk as they open air- 
locked chambers. HALF-LIFE spends 


[gik COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


^.computergamlng.com 




HALF-LIFE 



HEY MAN, NICE SHOT HALF-UFTs 
NPCs are intelligent and worth 
talking to. Security guards can be 
recruited to follow you and help 
blow away monsters like this 
mutant doctor. . 






SPLATTER FEST HALF-LlFE's environment 
is highly interactive: Blood stains walls 
and objects, and boxes are destructible. 
This shot also shows you the weapon 
inventory system — note the guns are 
real-world items. 


its first 10 minutes of gameplay 
creating a believable, though 
slightly fantastic, world. 

The payoff comes after the 
dimension-shredding accident. 
With Black Mesa torn apart by 
explosions and rampaging mon- 
sters, you head for the surface 
seeking rescuers. It's no easy trip 
since the familiar, almost mun- 
dane, world of just moments ago 
has been irrevocably altered into 
an unknown, chaotic interior land- 
scape — a mangled maze of col- 
lapsed walls, plummeting eleva- 
tors, and wildly firing lasers. 
Everyone you see is gripped by 
confusion and desperation — 
frightened colleagues piteously 
plead for help, a doctor desper- 
ately administers CPR to an 
unconscious guard, a dying guard 
futilely reaches for a first aid sta- 
tion. With all this terror before 
you, you must face the first 
monster — and you're unarmed. 

HALF-LlFE sustains this world- 
out-of-balance tone with a seem- 
ingly endless series of highly cine- 
matic, scripted events. Enter a 
corridor and watch desperate scien- 
tists attempt to flee through an air 
duct, only to be spat out like gristle 
by an unseen monster. Turn a cor- 
ner and witness a security guard 
empty his gun into an alien before 
he's killed. Wails blow out, floors 
collapse, and monsters tear through 
doors to attack you. To maintain 
the flow of events, level transitions 


are loaded seamlessly, and you can 
go back and forth freely between 
them. Gone are the artificial level 
barriers of other games. 

Developments in the plot are 
revealed in gameplay instead of in 
rendered cut-scenes. When the 
Marines initially arrive, the scien- 
tists rush toward them, certain 


that their saviors have arrived. 
They are then cut down in a hail 
of automatic gunfire that lets you 
know the supposed good guys 
are, in fact, very, very bad. It's a 
particularly effective method of 
keeping the gamer deep in the 
game while creating the same 
sense of panic and confusion that 
the protagonist would be feeling. 

Foreshadowing is also used, with 
a sinister looking, briefcase-toting 


corporate guy who frequently pops 
up on the periphery of the action in 
early parts of the game. 

A Whole New World 

While other shooters may thrill 
you with pure visceral action, they 
rarely suspend your disbelief. 
Half-Life bends over backward to 


create a believable world, and 
nowhere is that more apparent 
than in its use of NPCs. More than 
simple window dressing, the peo- 
ple in Half-Life are as knee-deep 
in the game's mayhem as you are, 
and they react to what happens 
around them. Kill a couple of secu- 
rity guards just for laughs and any 
scientists who witness it will 
cower in fear of you. Guards 
aggressively protect themselves 



DEAD AGAIN With smart, 
tough enemies like this assas- 
sin, you can expect to experi- 
ence a lifeless, floor-level 
view of the game frequently. 


from enemies; this is especially 
great since you can enlist their aid. 
On more than one occasion, I had 
a little squad of armed security 
personnel flanking me and firing 
away as I took on monsters; sever- 
al times they saved my skin by 
taking out monsters who were 
sneaking up behind me. Stop mov- 
ing for awhile and the guards will 
start talking to each other about 
their chances for survival. 

All this realism is great, but it 
wouldn't be a shooter without tar- 
gets. Never fear: HALF-LIFE serves 
up plenty of uglies to shoot. Valve 
isn't tipping its hand too much on 
this, but the limited build we 
played was stocked with skittering 
crab creatures, mutated scientists, 
houndeyes (doglike critters that 
attack in packs and generate dam- 
aging shock waves), marines, 
attack helicopters, and acid-spitting 



JTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1996, 


A 


iputergaming.c 


COMPU 








Bdosliueractivs, Tomb Raider, UnCrott smi her liiienessar«VBdeinsriistrfBdo$,Pte.(B19S6Eid«.30fx and the^ibt iogosm registered tFadomsrksoODbcinteraciive I 



Mmy mut0n. 
\Mo0pjd 2?) 


Go to #290 @ www.computergaming.com/mfolink 


Wreak havoc through snow, wind 
ind ram with jow-dropping realism 


Blaze India and hammer into London, 
Antarctica, Area 51 or the South Pacific. 


Annihilate your way through 15 levels 
of high-res mercilessness. 




the most 

acclaimed epic rpg 

ever created for the PC, yois’d 


better 


. Because 


Final Fantasy VII is still in hlgK demand- And there’s 
no better season to play good guy and save the world. 




0 1997, 1998 Square Co., Ltd. Final FantaE 


ind SquareSoftare feg)st« 


l^demarhs of Square Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved, EiDOSand EIDOS Interactive are trademarks of ElTOS, Pic. ©1998 ElOOS ‘ 




"Absolutely Stmning 

— Next Generation 

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Go to #277 @ www.computergaming.com/infolink 




HALF-LIFE 


Q&A With Valve's 
Managing Director, 
Gabe Newell 

Q: Half-life's action and story 
play out in a cinematic fashion. 

Did any films influence or inform 
HALF-LIFE? 

A: Originally, HALF-LIFE was 
inspired by a Stephen King 
novella. The Mist. About the only 
things in the game that really 
remain are the combination of 
horror and technology shared 
between the two, and the 
designs of the Bull Squid and 
blind tentacle in the Abandoned 
Silo area. There's a lot of Jackie 
Chan in the Assassin character, 
and there are bits from 
Full Metal Jacket and 
Aliens in the game. 

Q: Most story- 
telling is an 

linear process. ^B||9 

Why do you 

think no one has 

capitalized on the T 

essentially linear 

first-person shooter 

model to tell an involving story? 

A: We're not entirely sure since 
both the press and fans have 
been asking for this for a long 
time. I think what's happened is 
that the amount of work neces- 
sary to carry it off is so daunting, 
that even when people set out to 
integrate a strong storyline, they 
end up giving in to time pressure 
along the way and skipping 
everything it takes to make that 
possible. To put that In perspec- 
tive, the script for HALF-LIFE is 
about twice as long as a typical 
movie script and doesn't include 
all of the synthesized audio 


salamander-type 
creatures. 

Valve has put a lot 
of work into the mon- 
ster's A! to make them 
even more challenging. 

Marines use cover fire 
and hide behind 
objects, houndeyes are 
most effective in packs, 
and some monsters use 
sound and scent to 
track you. Monsters 
have a survival instinct 
and will run and hide 
if they think they're losing a 
battle. And just as your cadre 
of protective security 
^ guards can follow you 
from level to level, 
i your enemies will 
I hunt you across 
I levels as well. 

* Weapons are 
predominantly real- 
world items. Early 
^ weapons include a crow- 
bar, .357 magnum, shotgun, 
grenades, and machine gun. 
Most weapons have both a 
primary and secondary firing 
characteristic; for example, the 
shotgun's primary attack fires 
just one chamber, while the 
secondary mode unloads both 
rounds. Later in the game, 
you'll get a rocket-propelled 
grenade that you can steer 
after firing, organic weapons 
based on the alien technology, 
and, eventually, some of the 
surviving scientists will build 



OOPS. I ACCIDENTALLY TORE 
REALITY Sure it’s pretty, but this is 
the tragic experiment that lets all 
those nasty interdimensional mon- 
sters into our world. 


you a powerful, BFG-type 
weapon. 

Under the Hood 

Valve initially licensed the 
original QUAKE engine but has 
extensively modified it. Now. 
more than 70 percent of the 
engine is Valve's own code. 

The result is a dynamic, inter- 
active world. Surfaces reflect 
damage, damp walls grow 
moss over time, and destruc- 
tible objects are liberally sprin- 
kled throughout levels. Though 
not as flashy as UNREAL, HALF- 
LIFE has some brilliant 3D- 
accelerated effects, including 
spectacular explosions, beam 
effects, and dynamic lighting. 

Using a skeletal animation 
system that morphs the textures 
mapped onto a creature, HALF- 
LIFE is able to create remarkably 
smooth, lifelike animations with 
scores more frames of animation 
than sprite-based games. Mon- 


generated during the game. 

Q: One of the coolest things in 
HALF-LIFE is the ability to interact 
with other people in the game — 
to get scientists to heal you, to 
have security personnel help you 
fight. And while there's also 
interaction with the environ- 
ment, the game path is basically 
set — your actions add flavor to 
the game but don't have any 
real, tangible effect. With flight 
sims now featuring dynamic 
campaigns, when do you think 
we might see a dynamic shooter, 
in which the consequences of our 
actions actually affect the 
progress of the story/game path? 
is this even possible? 



HIT SQUAD Later in the game, 
you'll face menacing monster 
teams like these guys. Fortunately 
for you, by then you'll have the 
high-tech weaponry necessary to 
take them out 


sters can move discrete 
body parts, which means 
that they turn their 
heads to watch you as 
they run away or draw 
and fire weapons while 
they're on the move. 

For action gamers 
who've longed for a 
shooter with an excit- 
ing, immersive single- 
player game, HALF-LIFE 
seems set to deliver the 
goods. Barring yet 
another missed ship- 
ping date, you can 
expect it just in time for 
the holidays. 333 


A. 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD ■ DECEMBER 1998 


A: I was talking with Warren 
Spector at ECTS about this topic. 

I was talking about how we had 
this seamless world without any 
explicit levels, and he started 
laughing at me. He said some- 
thing like "I bet you have to give 
people a lot of explicit structure, 
and you're eliminating nonlinear 
elements in your designs as you 
playtest." And I said, “Yeah," and 
he laughed some more and said, 
“Been there, done that." With 
DEUX EX, Warren's being even 
more structured with the player's 
experience. The hard part is to 
give players a lot of freedom 
without them feeling that they 
are missing all of the cool stuff, 
that the freedom they have isn't 
trivial, and that they have a sense 
they're progressing through the 
game. I think it is certainly possi- 
ble to do this, but it's probably 
going to take a magnitude more 
of content to pull it off, plus a 
pretty thoughtful design. 

Q: While HALF-LIFE will support 
TEAM FORTRbs 2 after It's 
released, what other multipiay 
options will we see in HALF-LIFE? 
What is going to set its standard 
deathmatch apart? 

A: There are two things we've 
been working on: making HALF- 
LIFE multiplayer less frustrating 
and making it more fun. The first 
thing we are addressing by mak- 
ing it easier for people to find 
and get into games and by look- 
ing at weapons design issues to 
make multipiay less lag depen- 
dent. We're making Half-Life 
multiplayer more fun by having a 
variety of game modes and game 
rules — beyond just deathmatch 
and cooperative play. LOOT is one 
of the games that Dario Casali 
has designed; it's sort of a cross 
between capture the flag and 
hide-and-seek. 

Q: What’s next for Valve? 

A: Our big focus is going to be on 
getting TEAM FORTRESS out the 
door, then there are some tech- 
nology issues we want to look at 
for a bit. We're actually Itching to 
begin work on the next genera- 
tion of games. 

Q; Finally, who's that evil, corpo- 
rate guy In the suit? 

A: You won't find that out for 
quite a while in the game. But he 
Is a pretty evil bastard. 


www.computergaming.com 








TAKING THE HIGH GROUND While terrain in MYTH II will be even 
sharper-looking than that in the first game, your need to exploit 
it to your advantage hasn't changed. 


Myth II: Soulblighter 


by JoeVallina 

S omeday, MYTH: THE 
FALLEN LORDS will be 
recognized as the 
beginning of the end of 
2D real-time strategy 
games, It was Bungle's 
first big PC hit (the 
company was formally 
know for its Macintosh games, 
such as MARATHON), and it was 
also the first real-time strategy 
game to take full advantage of a 
3D engine, letting you swoop 
down and around to view the 
beautifully rendered gameworld. 

Of course, that's not to say that 
everything you saw in that glori- 
ous 3D imagery was pleasant. Au 
contraire, visions of dwarves 
chucking molotov cocktails Into a 
massed group of zombies and 


subsequently creating little piles 
of charred hamburger can hardly 
be called picturesque, But gamers 
reveled in the gore, and reveled 
further in the way that MYTH's 3D 
world brought them closer to real 
combat than ever before. 

Well, my fellow heroes, MYTH II: 
SOULBLIGHTER adds many new 
features to MYTH's 3D universe 
and, if all continues as planned, it 
could pound the final nail in 2D 
strategy's coffin. 

The story is set 60 years after 
your character kills Balor in MYTH. 
Soulblighter, one of the original 
Fallen Lords, has enlisted some 
humans as well as some really 
nasty creatures. He wants a new 
war, and guess what? You're just 
the hero to give it to him. 

In the demo build I played of 
MYTH II, five new single-player 
scenarios were working (along 
with two multiplayer levels), 
all designed to show off the 
game's new features. The mis- 
sions I played included assassina- 
tions, search and destroy mis- 
sions, protection (protecting a 


building or object) missions, and 
escort missions. 

Burn, Baby, Burn 

Far and away, MYTH ll's great- 
est addition is the use of fire. As 
promised, your archers can now 
use flaming arrows to start fires 
that can encircle your enemies. By 
pressing the T key (used to acti- 
vate a unit's special ability), your 
archers' normal arrows switch to 
flaming projectiles that set the 


grass on fire wherever they land. 
Units take damage from the fire 
as it spreads across the ground. 

But be careful: Your units are just 
as vulnerable to the flames, so 
you'll have to watch out not to 
get caught in your own trap. 

Bungie has also added animat- 
ed polygonal objects, such as 
drawbridges and giant moving 
wooden gates. These features will 
be used to a great extent in MYTH 
II, and they add a new level of 
realism. In one scenario, you must 
escort a peasant through an 
enemy-infested forest to the 
safety of a town fort before the 
gates close for good. In another, 
you must assail a castle with a 
working drawbridge. Get caught 
with too few units after it closes 
and you can expect to have 
arrows raining down on your 
head from the tops of the walls. 

Magic will play a part in MYTH 
II, as well. For example, after you 
successfully get all of your units to 
the drawbridge at the castle, you 
become an invisible dwarf who 
must sneak in a back door and up 
to the ramparts to destroy the 
winch that opens the drawbridge. 
After it is destroyed, your men can 
charge in and start chopping down 
everything in sight. Magic-users in 
MYTH II will have unlimited magic 
powers, but the catch is that they 
have a "mana" bar, which is 


Myth //; Soulblighter 


GENRE; Strategy 
RELEASE DATE; Q4'98 
DEVELOPER: Bungie Software 
PUBLISHER; Bungie Software 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


i'.computergaming.t 








depleted each time 
they use a spell. (It 
will gradually 
replenish over 
time.) 

One other super- 
cool addition to the 
MYTH universe is 
indirect artillery 
fire. One minute, 
your troops are 
trudging along 
minding their own 
business, the next 
they are chop suey. 

This, of course, is 
thanks to a giant 
explosive charge 
that just dropped 
out of the sky. To be 
fair, you do hear 
the telltale whine of a falling bomb right 
before the shell impacts, so you can get out 
of the way — if you're quick enough, that is. 

Under My Control 

Bungie has also improved the game's 
interface. For example, the horrible 
"mouse-flick" unit-facing control has been 
eliminated. Now, to have a unit face in a 
certain direction you simply hold the 
mouse button down and point the arrow 
under the unit in the desired direaion. 

MYTH ll's graphics will be enhanced from 
those in MYTH. For starters, Bungie says 
that there will be twice as many frames of 
animation for the units, and the terrain 
mesh will be four times as fine as before. 

All this should work together to provide a 
much more immersive environment. 

There will be several new characters in 
MYTH II. Five of these were in the demo I 
played: mortar dwarves, heron guards, 
Stygian Knights, mauls, and warlocks. Out 
of the five, for me, the mortar dwarves 
were the coolest. They look pretty much 
like normal dwarves, except that they use a 
mortar to launch their explosive charges 
over long distances. For more details on 
the other new characters, see the sidebar 
on this page. 

Making the World Your Own 

Bungie is also including two game editors 
in the MYTH II package. Bowing to the 
wishes of the masses (who had already 
used homemade, hacked editors to create 
custom MYTH missions), the company will 
Include not only a terrain-building editor, 
but a full character-building editor as well. 


Fear, the character editor, is incredibly 
detailed (Bungie says that 90 percent of the 
game's code can be modified with the appli- 
cation). Want your archers to shoot magic 
arrows? No problem. Want your dwarves to 
turn into chickens? You can make it so. In 
fact, if you know anything about game 
mechanics, you can use this editor to tweak 
any unit and have it do anything you want. 
No kidding, if the editor that is released is 
as powerful as the one in the demo, the 
online MYTH II hacks will be truly scary. 

The terrain editor. Loathing, is the most 
detailed level editor I've ever seen, giving 
you full control over virtually every aspect 
of the gameworld. Loathing allows you to 
be as general or as detailed as you want, 
letting you adjust the lay of the land in 
minuscule proportions or use the broad tool 
to build up a mountain range in one fell 
swoop. Wanna-be levellords will be in 
heaven, and the number of quality home- 
grown levels on the Net will be enormous. 
Personally, I can't wait to see what new 
hacks and levels the demented minds of 
C6W readers will come up with using these 
two incredible tools. 

As with the original MYTH, a 3D card will 
pretty much be a must for this game if you 
want it to run smoothly and look good. The 
current build supports 3Dfx and Rendition 
chipsets, and Bungie promises support for 
DirectSD in the final game. If you buy your 
3D card now, you'll have it in place when 
MYTH II ships later this year. 

If Bungie continues along the same lines 
as what I've seen so far. MYTH II should sur- 
pass MYTH and take strategy gaming even 
higher. 


MYTH H's New Units 

Heron Guard After Balor 
defeated the ancient 
empire Muirthemne, the 
elite guard donned peni- 
tent robes and became the 
Journeymen of the first 
MYTH game. But now in the war against 
Soulblighter, they have returned. Heron 
guards are effective combat units, skillfully 
wielding two swords. At press time. Bungie 
was still undecided if they'd retain any of 
their former magic*using skills. 


Maul Soulblightef's foot 
soldiers, mauls are punish- 
ing, medium-heavy melee 
units. Deadlier than ghols 
but not as bad as trow, 
these mysterious monsters 
deal their damage via a brutal, club-swing- 
ing attack. They are living units, not undead, 
and they attack in punishing packs. 


Mortar Dwarf The elite of 
the dwarven units, the 
mortar dwarves are devas- 
tating, long-range forces 
able to launch their explo- 
sive charges over great 
distances. Great for laying down withering 
barrages to soften up ground troops, mortar 
dwarves can also take down castle walls 
and other structures. 


Stygian Knight Twisted 
necromancers are respon- 
sible for the Stygian 
Knight. A magically ani- 
mated suit of armor, the 
Stygian Knight is a medi- 
um melee unit with a 
definite advantage over the average 
warrior. They are not to be taken lightly. 


Warlock Mysterious, shad- 
owy characters on the 
periphery of the war, the 
warlocks have chosen to 
fight on the side of the liv- 
ing. While their motives are 
unclear, their effectiveness 
is not — ^the warlocks' fireball attack harms 
everyone and everyfiiing it touches. Unable 
to engage in hand-to-hand combat, warlocks 
defend themselves with a confusion spell 
that causes their enemies to impotently 
attack the air. 







i^.computergaming.c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECgMBgfi 199B ^ 








EVERYONE 






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THE NUMBERS OFF THE FREE SAFETY. 
C’MON, LET THE GUY DANCE. 



Railroad Tycoon II 


Pop Top Pulls Sid's Masterpiece Out of the Can 



AREA OF EFFECT Zooming out 
over the grain belt, you see 
the number of small towns 
that spring up along the life- 
giving rail line. A major city 
like Edinburgh, however, func- 
tions as a trade hub and indus- 
try center for England and 
Ireland, as shown by the vari- 
ous buildings dotted around 
the railyard. 


by Terry Coleman 

M ike Myers may not 
be a genius on the 
same scale as 
Charlie Chaplin, but 
he certainly has a 
good sense of tim- 
ing. Myers’ Austin 
Powers: Inter- 
national Man of Mystery is in 
many ways the quintessential 
movie for the near-millennium 
because it allows you to totally 
immerse yourself in good- 
natured retro chic. With the 
current deluge of remakes in 
every creative medium from TV 
to film to books, it's hardly a 
surprise that computer games 
are also rapidly trying to rein- 
vent the wheel— though the 
PC equivalent of Austin Powers 
has yet to be made. 


Channeling Sid I 

Even Sid Meier is vulnerable, I 
contracts and licenses being I 

what they are, to having his I 

classic works reinterpreted by I 

other designers. When you look I 

at the vast catalogue of games I 

by Sid Meier, you’d expect 
PIRATES! to be redone or maybe 
for there to be a new stealth 
fighter game, but RAILROAD 
TYCOON? After all, you don't build 
railroad stations and immediately 
start pumping out hundreds of 
railway cars, smashing them up 
against your enemies' trains in 
the center of the map (although 
that might have a certain guilty 
pleasure appeal). 

Well, RAILROAD TYCOON isn't in 
the CGWHali of Fame solely for 
nostalgia: it's an engaging game 


remembered as the Man Who 
Saved HEROES OF MIGHT & 

MAGIC from self-destruction. A 
low-budget product, HEROES, and 
its flashier sequel, HEROES OF 
MIGHT AND MAGIC II, turned out 
to be two of New World Com- 
puting's biggest hits in years. 
When MicroProse, evidently in 
one of its desperate attempts to 
generate cash flow, started shop- 
ping around some of its legacy 
titles, Steinmeyer jumped at the 
chance to remake one of his 
favorite games. 

The Real RAILROAD 
TYCOON Deluxe 

What you notice first about 
RAILROAD TYCOON II are the vastly 
improved graphics, which have 
traditionally been a weak point of 


railroad games. Sure, MicroProse 
released RAILROAD TYCOON 
DELUXE — upgraded to stunning 
VGA!— about three years ago, 
but RAILROAD TYCOON II is the 
way Sid would have wanted this 
game to look. Without requiring a 
3D card, the design team at Pop 
Top has managed to create a 
vibrant 3D world of track and rail- 
way cars, along with a beautiful 
cross-country landscape that ele- 
vates RAILROAD TYCOON II above 
the quaint artificiality of model 
railroading. If you've ever tried to 
carve trees out of green foam, 
you'll appreciate the variety of 
saplings and towering elms that 
spring from nearly every outdoor 
frame of this game. 

The 3D in this game is now 
more akin to that of TOTAL 


Age of SimRail 

As in the original, you start with 
a certain amount of capital and 
attempt to build a railroading 
empire. After you clear away 
ground and get buildings erected. 


that, when released almost a 
decade ago, put a new twist on 
train management. And it was 
every bit as unique and almost as 
addictive as CIVILIZATION. Given 
the game's classic status, it's fair to 
ask who would be designing the 
sequel — since not just anyone is 
worthy of carrying Sid's gym bag. 

Enter Phil Steinmeyer who, like 
science fiction and comics author 
Peter David, does his best work 
in other people's worlds. 
Steinmeyer will forever be 


ANNIHILATION than MYTH, which 
is a good thing given the level of 
detail. Even with a Pentium II 400, 
it would be difficult on a scale as 
large as that of RAILROAD TYCOON 
I! to run multiple trains and sta- 
tions in a MYTH-style environment 
with any kind of frame-rate, much 
less have any processor band- 
width left for the multi-level Al. 
What's more, you can actually use 
the 3D technology for more than 
eye candy. The entire 3D world 
can be rotated 360 degrees like a 
hand-held map, complete with 
multiple zoom levels — very help- 
ful when you're trying to carve a 
different rail route through nearby 
mountains. 


Railroad Tycoon // 


GENRE: Strategy 
RELEASE DATE: Q4 '98 
DEVELOPER: Pop Top Software 
PUBLISHER: Gathering ofOevelopere 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD ■ DECEMBER 1998 


iputergaming.c 





you buy your choice of railway cars 
and start laying track. You build 
water towers, sanding towers, and 
roundhouses to keep your trains up 
and running in top condition. And 
like any resource management 
game, RAILROAD TYCOON II requires 
that you make a lot of tough deci- 
sions because, as you progress far- 
ther into the game, there are rarely 
enough resources to take care of 
every train. All of this is actually a 
great deal of fun. And If you turn 
the computer opponent options 
way down, this part of RAILROAD 
TYCOON II plays a lot like SlMClTY 
with boxcars— right down to the 
familiar bulldozer button on the 
interface. 

The designers have come up 
with a clever gimmick to show 
the importance of railways in this 
era. A given railway in RAILROAD 
TYCOON II has an area of effect: 
Basically, the more time and 
money you put into a station, the 
wider its influence on the sur- 
rounding area. This realistically 
shows how many towns of the 
United States came into being in 
the mid-1800s simply because 
they were on rail lines. It also 
requires that you invest more 
resources in larger cities, such as 
Chicago or New York, or risk los- 
ing business and money to a 
competitor. Essentially, you are in 


the job of 
transporting 
goods and 
passengers 
from one 
area to 
another. The 
farther, 
faster, and 
more reli- 
ably that 
you can pro- 
vide this 
transporta- 
tion, the 
more money 
you rack up. 

Once you 
get through 
the excel- 
lent tutori- 
als and 
move on to 
the main 
game, you must amass $25 mil- 
lion to win — a hefty fortune 
indeed for the mid-19th century. 

This brings us to the most 
enjoyable aspect of RAILROAD 
TYCOON 11: the devious computer 
opponents that you face. These 
are modeled after the great rob- 
ber barons, such as Cornelius 
Vanderbilt, and they are quite 
adept at making your victory con- 
ditions difficult to reach. When- 
ever one of these Al gentlemen is 


near, rest assured that he will lay 
his track in such a manner that 
you must either link up to his rail 
line — costing you a portion of 
your profits as his fee — or force 
you to find an alternate route 
that could end up being prohibi- 
tively expensive. 

If they can't best you on the 
physical rail system, the robber 
barons will try to corner the stock 
market. Buying and selling stocks 
in RAILROAD TYCOON II is more 


involved than in the Sid Meier 
original, but it also offers you 
more gamepiay options. In addi- 
tion to buying and selling your 
own company-issued stock, you 
may leap into margin buying, 
short-selling, and even investing 
in other companies. 

From Steam to Bullets 

In addition to the traditional 
Classic Age of Steam Trains in 
1 9th century North America, 
RAILROAD TYCOON II also covers 
the development of trains 
throughout the 20th century. 
We're not sure yet how a bullet 
train of 2001 will be modeled 
since this was still in develop- 
ment at press time. But we do like 
the mix of campaigns, which 
includes rails across England, the 
failed attempt to build a trans- 
African railway, and the economic 
realities of Amtrak-iike businesses 
in the modern United States. • 

If you’ve ever enjoyed board- 
games like Eurorails or 1830, this is 
your game — especially since it 
supports LAN and Internet play. 
RAILROAD TYCOON II is one of the 
best options for long, addictive 
winter gaming, because it gives a 
fresh perspective on a classic that 
just happens to be the antithesis of 
the "me-too" syndrome. K'i'.’J 



v.computergaming.c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998, 









Microsoft 


,»» IT OH lONr.cDH ©1998 Microsoft Corpofallon. All rights reserved. Microsoft Is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation. 


Introducing Microsoft 

Combat Flight Simulator. 

With the same stunningly realistic flying 
experience Flight Simulator is known for, 
only this time it's the 1940's and there's 
a war on. Join the Allied or Axis forces, 
choose your fighter, and fly missions in the 
Battle of Britain and the Battle over Europe. 

But don't expect a sight-seeing trip. 
Sure, the Eiffel Tower, Royal Albert Hall 
and other historically accurate landmarks 
are there in heart-stopping 3-D graphics. 
Unfortunately, with black smoke pouring 
through the shattered cockpit of your 
P-47D you won't see much. 

And if that isn't thrilling enough, bring 
in thousands of planes from the Internet and 
engage in deadly dogfights over scenery 
imported from Microsoft Flight Simulator. 

That's not all. Combat Flight Simulator also 
supports multiplayer and force feedback 
technology. So when you pull G's attacking 
the enemy, and the engine of your Spitfire 
cuts out, you'll know just how it feels. 

After all, nothing beats the feeling of 
flying a historic WWII fighter. Except, of 
course, filling it full of lead and watching it 
plummet pitifully to the ground. Collect your 
orders and find out how Microsoft Flight 
Simulator owners can get a S10 rebate at 
www.microsoft.com/games/combatfs 






Enemy Infestation 


Ripcord's Intergalactic Bug Hunt Could BeX-COM's Successor 


by Robert Coffey 

lien menaces and real- 
time combat have one 
big thing in com- 
mon — both are 
overused in today's 
strategy titles. That's 
not to say these are 
I bad things; on the con- 
trary, if these ideas didn't have 
some real appeal they wouldn't 
keep cropping up. It's just that 
too many games can't execute 
interstellar war and ticking-dock 
combat in a fresh or innovative 
way. ENEMY INFESTATION hopes to 
change all that. 


Illegal Aliens 

Taking place well in the future, 
the game opens with millions of 
alien pods desperately fleeing a 
dying planet in the hope of find- 
ing a new world to call their own. 
While most of the pods fail to 
survive the trip, a few land on a 
planet colonized by mankind in 
order to feed a starving Earth. 

With numerous settlements on the 
planet's surface as well as vast 
underwater farms, it seems like 
the perfect place for the mysteri- 
ous Mantis race to wreak their 
particular brand of terror. 

Taking place from an isometric 
perspective that's part X-COM and 
part CRUSADER, ENEMY 
INFESTATION (El) charges the 
gamer with controlling small 
squads to combat the alien threat. 
Most of the game takes place In 
and around various installations 
on the planet, including polar ice- 
mining facilities, research centers, 
and underwater farms. Unlike the 
rather cookie-cutter locales in the 


ENEMY INFESTATION 


GENRE: Strategy 
RELEASE DATE: Q4 98 
DEVELOPER: Clochvotks Entertainment 
PUBLISHER; Ripcord Games 




TO PROTECT AND SERVE Missions definitely encourage you to 
kill aliens. But the real focus of most missions will be on larger 
goals, such as protecting tills scientific team while they conduct 
vital research. 


provide characters with new 
knowledge, all for the price of 
reading a book. For instance, sol- 
diers are good at shooting, hand- 
to-hand combat and little else. But 
should your standard military 
grunt find a bookcase housing 
medical information, he'll be able 
to heal others as long as he holds 
on to the book. In a game where 
your units take as much punish- 
ment as they do 
in El, having 
such an ability 
is a tremendous 
asset. 

El's mission 
goals include 
rescues, 
searches, and 
fact-finding for- 
ays into devas- 
tated facilities. 
This kind of vari- 
ety should pro- 
vide a refresh- 
ing and satisfy- 
ing change from 
the "kill every- 
thing" expedi- 
tions of other titles (although you 
can certainly expect plenty of 
that). For example, one early 


X-COM series, El levels are pre- 
rendered and showcase some 
truly inventive touches, including 
interior beaches and gardens pro- 
vided for the personnel's recre- 
ation and enjoyment. 

The bulk of each crisis site is 
hidden until your team enters spe- 
cific rooms. At that point the roof 
basically disappears and you have 
full access to the area. Roofs don't 


pop back in after you leave, but 
the rooms do become shrouded 
with a grayed-out fog-of-war 
effect. As a game device, it should 
be effective, adding a sense of 
niggling doubt when you revisit 
accessed areas. Has the previously 
clear room been filled with new 
hostiles? Is your team in any 
shape to deal with a threat? 

Character Counts 

Unlike other games where 
every character is a virtual killing 
machine. El will stick you with 
characters that are next to use- 
less in a firefight. But each will 
serve a purpose: You'll have doc- 
tors for healing, mechanics to 
repair critical machinery, biolo- 
gists to gather samples and 
develop viral weaponry, techni- 
cians to unseal airlock doors, and 
more. With missions often having 


a lengthy checklist of goals, each 
member of your team (up to 1 2- 
men) should play a vital role in 
every mission's success. Even a 
basically useless, cowardly bar- 
tender can be an asset by carry- 
ing the wounded to healing beds, 
and thus allowing your other 
forces to focus on the mission. 

While characters all come with 
their own abilities, there will be 


opportunities to expand their 
expertise. These will come in 
the form of bookcases that will 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD ■DECEMBER 1998 


ipiJtergarning.com 








ROACH MOTEL As the alien menace grows, your installations will be aawling with the evil Mantis. 


mission asked me to repair the 
environment suit station, scrounge 
up some weapons, exit the space 
station to retrieve a tissue sample 
from a pod, analyze the sample to 
develop a virus, then modify some 
fire extinguishers to dispense the 
virus. After that, it was time to 
wipe out a whole nest of aliens. 

Tell Me What to Do 

A rather straightforward, 
mouse-driven interface will let you 
issue orders and direct troops. 

One impressive feature is the abil- 
ity to construct a complex series 
of waypoints by simply holding 
down the "Shift" key while click- 
ing. Even actions can be dictated 
in this manner, making it possible 
for you to direct a soldier to walk 
through several rooms, pick up a 
gun, recharge it, open a door, go 
up an elevator, and attack a spe- 
cific alien. 

The only interface stumbling 
block I ran into in the beta ver- 
sion I played was actually getting 
control of individual units. El's 
narrow corridors and crowded 
rooms often made it difficult to 
click on a specific unit, and the 
unit portraits in the interface bar 
were similarly tiny. Hopefully this 
will change before the game 
ships. Fortunately, both individual 
and grouped units can be bound 
to hot-keys. 

You can give standing orders 
such as "guard" or "fight" to 
direct a unit's behavior when 


armed or under-armed and each 
character can carry just a single 
weapon, weapon management 
turns into a real juggling act. 
Alleviating a bit of this stress is a 
handy interface item that lets you 
know if there are any undiscov- 
ered weapons or items in a mis- 
sion and, if so, how many. 
Unfortunately, it stops short of 
telling you where to find them — 
that's up to you. 

Gamers who found the last X- 
COM game's lack of multiplayer 
support disappointing will be 
happy to know El will support mul- 
tiplayer games out of the box. Up 
to four players are supported in 
cooperative mode only, so forget 
about squaring off against your 
friends. With any player capable of 
controlling any unit in the game, it 
will be interesting to see how this 
works in practice. Still, it's an idea 
whose time has clearly come. 

ENEMY INFESTATION shows real 
signs of promise. In the beta ver- 
sion I played it was apparent that 
someAl tweaking still needed 
to be done. But the rest of the 
game seemed pretty solid — 
except the voice-acting. We can 
only hope that the voice-acting I 
heard was a temporary fix until 
Ripcord got around to hiring 
some real actors. Slated for 
release in time for the holidays, 

El might just turn out to be a 
pleasant surprise on the crowded 
real-time strategy front, 


aliens appear. Particularly useful 
and entertaining is the "hide" 
order — perfect for ensuring that 
your weak medics and physicists 
cower behind recharging stations 
at the first sign of trouble. With 
many of the battles taking you by 
surprise, you'll need to make use 
of these standing orders to pro- 
tect your teams and just general- 
ly stay on your toes. More than 
once I thought I was safe and 
relaxed my guard only to be set 
upon by clawing packs of aliens. 
While El doesn't let you create 
formations, you will have to 
properly place units in a room to 
provide adequate defense in case 
of an ambush. 


Arms and Your Men 

Much of the weaponry you'll 
be using will be unfamiliar to you 
so you'll have to try it out in 
combat to determine its effec- 


tiveness. This is 
a good thing 
when you find a 
killer ray gun; 
it's a bad thing 
when the gas 
tank you're 
using helps the 
aliens multiply. 
Weapon man- 
agement will 
also play a 
large part in the 
game. Several 


weapons carry 
finite amounts of ammo, forcing 
you to find more lest you start lit- 
erally kicking alien butt. Fully 
recharging energy weapons typi- 
cally takes a while. Since you fre- 
quently begin missions either un- 


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almost feels like you're watching 
an actual NBA game. The way the 
players do crossovers, pivots, and 
other moves adds to the feeling of 
controlling lifelike players. 

When the announcer starts off a 
game, you see your players stream- 
ing out of the locker room, high- 
fiving each other, jogging gingerly 
up to center court, or rotating their 
arms for last-minute stretches. And, 
of course, the animation is really 
nice for the lay-ups and dunks. 

While many of the dunks in 
LIVE 99 look similar to those in 


previous versions of the game, 
they're even more detailed this 
year. You'll see Ostertag hanging 
for a few seconds on the basket, 
swinging left and right a little 
and then dropping down to the 
ground, if you go for a replay, 
you'll even see his mouth open 
and his face turn into a visage of 
determination — thanks to the 
more detailed engine. And when 
he finishes a particulariy good 
dunk, you'li see him celebrate by 
waving his hands in the air and 
pumping his fist. 


Lockout Be Damned, 

EA Sports Is Set to Release 
Another Outstanding Game 


By Elliott Chin 

A s we go to press this 

month, the NBA lockout 
is stiil standing firm, 
and the beginning of 
the season is in serious 
jeopardy. So why don't 
we care? Maybe 
because we’ve been 
playing a beta of NBA LIVE 99, EA 
Sports' latest version of its great 
basketball franchise. NBA LIVE's 
blend of fast action and sports sim- 
ulation over a hidden mass of stats 
is an award-winning combination 
that has won over many fans, 
including me. As recently as a few 


NBA Live 99 


GENRE; Sports 
RELEASE DATE; Q4 '98 
DEVELOPER: EA Sports 
PUBLISHER: Electronic Arts 


years ago I wasn't much of a 
sports game fan, but one play of 
NBA LIVE 96 and I was hooked. The 
fast action roped me in, and the 
rest of the game's polish and depth 
kept me a fan forever. 

In most respects, NBA LIVE 99 
stays true to previous editions of 
NBA LIVE and, on the face of it, 
doesn't play all that differently. 
However, a better engine, greater 
graphics detail, an enhanced AI, 
and several other gameplay 
tweaks have elevated this game 
to a new level. 

Beautiful Lay-ups 

The first thing you notice about 
NBA LIVE 99 is the improved 
graphics. The animation and 
motion capture for the players on 
screen is amazing. While not quite 
as fluid as the animation in FIFA 98 
or the upcoming FIFA 99, NBA LIVE 
99's animation is so good that it 


v.computergaming.c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998, 




NBA LIVE 99 




add assists or rebounds. So when 
you go for a three-point play and 
miss, it's now more likely that 
you'll have a guy under the basket 
to tip in the ball. 1 also noticed that 
the tendency to foul too much at 
the end of quarters (especially for 
the losing team) has been curtailed 
somewhat. The beefed-up defense 
now adds incentive to pass more 
often in games. And because 
defending players don't play as 
close on defense (they give a 
slightly bigger cushion now), you 
won't have to worry about having 
the ball picked off. 

NBA Jam or Sim 

The better Al also enables NBA 
LIVE 99 to differentiate between 
sim and arcade modes even more 
than past editions of the game 
have. Now, arcade mode is more, 
well, arcadey.The action is faster, 
and dunks happen a lot more fre- 
quently: and when they do hap- 
pen, they're soaring leaps from 
the three-point line that take you 
over the basket. Playing in this 
mode really gives you the sense 
that you're playing arcade bas- 
ketball. In regular simulation 
mode, however, the enforced 
rules and the newly enhanced Al 
provide basketball play that's 
more challenging and realistic. 
Whereas sim and arcade mode 
played a bit too similarly in previ- 
ous NBA LIVES, in LIVE 99 the dif- 
ferences between the modes are 
far more pronounced. 


Not only does the new engine 
add moving mouths to the game, 
but it also brings 3D faces to life. 
All the players now have expres- 
sions, which are most noticeable 
in the lineup screens — you'll see 
the players smiling or scowling. 
Sometimes the expressions look 
goofy, but other times the realism 
is eerily fascinating. The 3D faces 
also look amazingly like the real 
players' faces. Rodman looks like 
Rodman, and Kukoc looks like 
Kukoc. It's uncanny the way the 


engine can deliver such accurate 
looking faces. (During the game, 
however, the resemblance tum- 
bles a little.) The new engine also 
more accurately differentiates the 
sizes of players. Now, big guys 
like Ostertag and Smits look huge 
compared to tinier players like 
Muggsy Bogues, 

More I in the Al 

While the engine and graphics 
are nice, the enhanced Al is equally 
impressive. I played a few games 
against the computer and immedi- 
ately noticed that the computer 
was just plain smarter than it was 
in previous versions of NBA LIVE. 
Now, when you drive into a group 
of opposing players, you are almost 
guaranteed to have the ball stolen. 
Wade into that many hands and 
the ball is bound to be slapped 
away. The defending players are 
also better at getting rebounds. The 
increased number of steals and 
better overall defense is a welcome 
addition to NBA LIVE 99. 

Your own computer-controlled 
players are also smarter. 1 noticed 
that they run to the basket more to 


Another addition 
to LIVE 99 is a new 
practice mode. 
Currently, practice 
mode puts you on 
an outdoor court 
where you can prac- 
tice your dunks and 
special moves, such 
as the all-new fake 
moves and fake 
shots. While practice 
mode lets you hone 
your individual skills, 
however, it doesn't 
allow you to practice 
multiple-player 
plays, I hope EA Sports includes an 
option to add a second, computer- 
controlled player to the practice 
mode so that you can practice 
assists and passes. 

There will also be multiple sea- 
sons in NBA LIVE 99 as well as a 
live draft. Now you can try to build 
a dynasty to rival the Bulls, as you 
participate in drafts, make trades, 
and carry your successes or failures 
for up to 10 consecutive seasons. 
The game will track the develop- 
ment of your players' careers and 
present you with a Decade in 
Review screen at the end of your 
tenure. Trades with computer- 
controlled teams are not brain- 
dead gimmes; the computer will 
judge whether you're making a fair 
offer and decline or accept it. 


At the Buzzer 

With the better-looking engine, 
smarter Al, and other enhance- 
ments, NBA LIVE 99 promises not 
only to continue the excellent 
gameplay of the series, but also to 
add more challenge and beauty to 
this EA Sports gem. If the fouls and 
excessive stealing can be balanced 
better and the practice mode and 
multiplayer modes tweaked (hot- 
seating curiously seems to be miss- 
ing), NBA LIVE 99 should provide 
the most satisfying basketball fix to 
date. Even if the NBA players sit 
out this season squabbling over 
contracts, there's no reason why 
you can't still enjoy classic NBA 
basketball. Kd'.V 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD • DECEMBER 199B 


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Real-world Physics Rule In This World War II Sim 


by Denny Atkin 

T he Focke-Wulf 190 dives 
for safety as tracer bul- 
lets from the nose of 
your P-38 chew into its 
wing. As the ground 
rushes toward you. you 
realize you're heading 
down an unsafe speed. 
But you’ve worked too hard for 
this kill to give up now. One final 
burst and you start to pull up. The 
190 seems to have survived your 
onslaught; but suddenly, as it 
begins its pullout, the plane's left 
wing rips free— too weakened 
from your fire to handle the stress 
of the pull-up — and the Focke- 
Wulf spirals into the ground. You 
recover from your own dive with 




GENRE; Simulation 

RELEASE DATE: Q4 '98 
DEVELOPER: Parsoh 
PUBLISHER: Activision 


barely 100 feet to spare, savoring 
your victory. But then you look out 
the side of your canopy and real- 
ize that you actually bent your 
plane's wings during the pullout. 
You're going to have to nurse this 
one home. 

This is just a typical dogfight in 
Activision's upcoming FIGHTER 
SQUADRON: THE SCREAMIN’ 
DEMONS OVER EUROPE. In a 
crowded field ofWWII flight sims, 
FIGHTER SQUADRON has a number 
of distinguishing features, but 
none more than its physics model- 
ing. The sim is being developed by 
Eric Parker's Parsoft. Fans who 
experienced the previous effort by 
that team, A-1 0 CUBA, will be 
happy to know that this one 
makes the already impressive 
physics model in that previous 
game look positively primitive. 

Wings of Density 

I have to admit that even 
though the game's artificial 
intelligence was already doing a 
good job in combat in the alpha 


version I tested, 

I spent at least 
as much time 
playing "test 
pilot" as I did in 
combat. I per- 
formed success- 
ful experiments, 
such as hopping 
into a B-17. 
jumping into its 
ball turret, and 
shooting an 
engine nacelle and part of the 
tail off another plane in the for- 
mation. Then I jumped into the 
cockpit of the other plane and 
tested how it flew with the 
damage. Its performance was 
convincingly hampered. 

Then it was time to test-fly the 
P-38. Looking out the side window 
while performing high-G maneu- 
vers, I could actually see the 
plane's wing flexing up and down. 
Then I purposefully came in for a 
couple of hard landings. On the 
first one, I bent the left main gear 
strut. On the second, I actually 


knocked the wheel off. What was 
impressive, though, was what fol- 
lowed. The wheel continued to roll 
down the runway and down a hill. 
It finally came to a rest at the bot- 
tom, wobbling to a stop like a 
spinning quarter. 

For the less experimentally 
inclined, the detail of the sim's 
physics model will translate into a 
convincing flight environment. 
Aircraft handling feels authentic, 
and when you shoot off parts of 
another plane, its performance 
will be hampered accordingly. 
Don't follow too closely behind a 


I 


^.computergaming.£ 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD • DECEMBER 1998 





FIGHTER SQUADRON: THE SCREAMIN' DEMONS OVER EUROPE 


bandit when you’re blasting him. 

If you saw off a wing, it will spin 
back toward you in a manner eeri- 
ly reminiscent of WWII gun cam- 
era footage; if you hit it, it'll do 
damage to your own plane. Bullet 
modeling is very good, with the 
effects of gravity and gun conver- 
gence on your tracers very evident 
when firing at distant targets. 

It was particularly impressive 
when I made a close pass behind 
a Hawker Typhoon during a dog- 
fight and actually felt my plane 
jerk as it passed through the 
plane's "wake." This brought back 
an immediate deja i/uto a real-life 
dogfight against Robin Kim in Sky 
Warriors T-34s — the plane reacted 
to the slipstream in the sim just as 
it did in real life. While other 
upcoming sims may match 
FIGHTER SQUADRON when it comes 
to getting the performance and 



SMOKED KRAUT Towns and airfield are very 
detailed, down to the smoke emitting from 
chimneys. 


handling numbers right, no other 
sim I've flown has so fully cap- 
tured the feeling of the entire 
flying experience. 

Fire in a 

Crowded Theater 

Combat takes place in three 
theaters: Dover, covering battles 
over the English Channel; North 
Africa; and Rhineland over 
Germany. These theaters are com- 
pressed in size: Targets it would 
take an hour to fly to In reality 
can be reached in a few minutes 
of flight in the game. While this 
will offend purists, it simply means 
you won’t be faced with the 
choice of equally unrealistic time 
compression or spending a lot of 
time flying a boring, uneventful 
straight line to the target. 


The terrain here is absolutely 
beautiful, with rolling hilts and 
river valleys that promise to be 
great for low-level dogfighting in 
multiplayer mode. Roads run 
between the towns, which are 
modeled In nice detail, and trans- 
parent smoke emits from chim- 
neys. Even this smoke is useful, 
because it can indicate the current 
wind conditions. Fogging is used 
to good effect, keeping the frame- 
rate up without generating an 
unrealistic experience. 

You can fly missions for three 
sides in a variety of aircraft. For the 
U.S., you can pilot the B-1 7G Flying 
Fortress, the P-38J Lightning, and 
the P-51D Mustang. For England, 
choices are the Lancaster Mk.ll 
bomber, the Mosquito fighter- 
bomber, and Spitfire and Typhoon 
fighters. Finally, German pilots can 
fly the Focke-Wulf 190A, Me-262A, 
and the Ju-88 
bomber. When 
flying bombers, 
you can man 
each of the 
plane's positions, 
so you'll be able 
to put the plane 
into autopilot 
and jump into a 
turret when 
you're engaged 
by fighters. 

The current 
build of the game has 1 0 mis- 
sions in each of the three the- 
aters, but there are far more than 
30 different flying opportunities. 
Each mission has aircraft from all 
three countries taking part, and 
you can fly the mission from the 
viewpoint of any of these aircraft. 
You might fly a dam-busting mis- 
sion in a Lancaster bomber, then 
fly it again from the perspective 
of a Spitfire escort. 

Next you can revisit this mis- 
sion from the other side as a FW- 
190 pilot trying to take out the 
Lancasters. In addition, there are 
training missions for each aircraft, 
a scramble instant-action mode, 
and multiplayer missions. The lat- 
ter weren't implemented in the 
version I flew. However, given the 
layout of the terrain, the superb 



damage modeling, and the 
smooth multiplayer play in Par- 
soft's earlier A-1 0 CUBA, multi- 
player mode should be quite 
intriguing here. 

Call in an Editor 

The sim also includes a complete 
mission editor, so you'll be able to 
add your own missions or down- 
load new ones from the Net. You 
can set waypoints, orders, and tar- 
gets; assign squadrons to escort 
other squadrons; and adjust 
weapons and fuel loadouts for 
each plane. You can also adjust 
numerous aspects of each squad- 
ron's artificial intelligence: Skill, 
Aggression, Loyalty, Morale, and 
Sanity. Even in this early version, 
the Al is quite convincing. I could 
drop planes into an arena and they 
would engage In realistic furballs. 


More extensibility will come 
from Parsoft's Open Plane Inter- 
face. The developer will document 
the formats and flight model struc- 
ture for the sim's aircraft, so third- 
party developers will be able to 
create new planes. However, they 
won't be doing an actual plane 
editor. And after having had a few 
of Parker's intriguing flight physics 
discussions go skyrocketing over 
my head, I don't think creating 
new planes will be a task for the 
uninitiated. I hope an enterprising 
third-party developer like Game 
Tool Technologies will come up 
with a user-friendly plane editor. 

FIGHTER SQUADRON has enough 
unique features to stand out from 
the pack. When you factor in its 
quality physics model and extensi- 
ble plane set, it has the potential to 
offer long-term gameplay. S3I3 



CUSTOM COMBAT The mission editor lets you adjust various 
pilot Al aspects for each squadron. 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD ♦ DECEMBER 1998 


/compulergaming.f 





Microsoft Motocross Madness™ comes free with 
the Freestyie Pro. 


C 1988 All rights rosorved. Microsoft, Motocross Madness, Sidewinder are 
Microsoft Corporation irj ihe United States and/or other coorirlss. 


Welcome to the Microsoft’ Sidewinder^ Frees^e Pro joystick. Now you can throw yourself into the action. 
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by Keith Ferrell 

I ongevity offers challenges 
as well as opportunities. 
Just as with television, 
when a computer game 
series gets older, in the 
best of circumstances, it 
also gets wiser and better. 
The groundwork is estab- 
lished freeing its creators to move 
on to explore other issues. 
Audiences are familiar with its 
underlying concepts but, handled 
carefully, that familiarity can breed 
renewed excitement rather than 
jaded contempt. 

Based on the pre-release 
version of SlMClTY 3000 I’ve been 
looking at, the designers at Maxis 
have decided to pursue excite- 
ment, both visceral and intellectu- 


admittedly, some of the game's 
most promising features not yet 
implemented — the designers 
have succeeded. 

Nine years ago, when the origi- 
nal SlMClTY made its debut, 
resource management and 
exploitation games were some- 
thing new. The story goes, in fact, 
that Broderbund, the game's origi- 
nal publisher, insisted on putting 
disasters, including Godzilla, into 
the game in order to increase the 
program's "playability." 

They missed the point. 
Playability was something SlMClTY 
possessed plenty of. It was just a 
different sort of playability. 
Managing all of the various 
resources and problems of a city's 
growth and health proved to be 
an almost hypnotic challenge. 
SlMClTY was a prime example of 


the "I'll just play five more min- 
utes" type of game. Parameters 
could change in the course of 
those five minutes, leading you to 
give it 5 — or 50 — minutes more. 
There had never been anything 
quite like it. SlMClTY broke new 
ground (pun intended) and, for a 
while, had that ground to itself. 

No more — SlMCITY's influence 
has been felt on games such as 
CIVILIZATION and all of its off- 
spring, as well as any number of 
pick-a-planet-and-colonize-it 
space adventures. You can even 
find its influence in COMMAND & 
CONQUER and that game’s 
cousins and clones. 

But SlMCITY's goal — Godzillas 
notwithstanding— has always 
been more peaceful than that of 
the games it inspired or sired. 

Build a city. Fill it with people. 
Keep them happy, 
prosperous, productive, 
and safe. Large goals, 
with large challenges 
that grow larger with 
the passing of each 
simulated day. 


Everything Old 
Is New Again 

Now, with SlMClTY 3000, 

Maxis has returned to the game's 
roots, taking advantage of close 
to a decade's enhancements in 
programming tools and computer 
power to give the game a new 
look and feel and make it a 
deeper experience. 

The basics remain the same. 

Pick a piece of land, build houses, 
stores, and factories; provide 
power, water, and a transportation 
system. Now run it. Simple. You 
know, like Fred Astaire dancing. 

SlMClTY 3000 makes running 
the city, at least at the highest lev- 
els of gameplay, more of chal- 
lenge of coordination with your 
sim-population than you had in 
the earlier versions. Petitioners in 
the new game make their 
desires — and demands — quite 
clear, and the wise administrator 
learns quickly to keep a constant 
eye on the petitioners’ requests. 

This time, you get far more of a 
feel for the personality of your 
sims. In the earliest versions of the 
game, information about their 


al. From what I've seen — with. 

SimCity 3000 

The Classic City Builder Returns to Its Roots 



COMPUTER GAMING WORLD « DECEMBER 1996 


v.compulergaming.c 



GREEN ACRES: Agriculture and its various support industries and 
endeavors play a larger part in SiMClTY 3000 than in previous 
versions of the game. 



TECH TO ME Technology parks represent a 
brighter and flashier vision of industrial 
development than dark, sooty factories. 


lives and the effec- 
tiveness of your 
administration of 
the city was relayed 
to you through 
charts and graphs. 

That sort of infor- 
mation remains 
available, but more 
easily and quickly 
digestible advice 
comes from advi- 
sors, news tickers, 
and the ever- 
present petitioners. 

As is customary with the SIM 
series, you can strip away informa- 
tion to provide focused views of 
one or another aspect of the city 
and the site on which it stands. 
Examine power or water supply 
routes, police and fire zones, and 
the like. These snapshots of specific 
managerial areas quickly become 
an important tool as well as an 
information resource. 

If there was a single aspect of 
SlMClTY that gave pause to occa- 
sional players, it was the speed 
with which cities became almost 
too complex to manage quickly, 
making the game an unlikely 
source of casual entertainment. 
That may be even more true of this 
latest version. While budgeting fea- 
tures were not yet implemented in 
the copy I examined, there were 
enough other managerial criteria 
and concerns present to make it 
clear that the game will require 
focus. The city-management tools 
are there, many of them more easi- 
ly accessible than before, but they 


will need your almost constant 
attention. 

And what's wrong with that? 
SlMClTY never pretended to be a 
causal game. It's a digitally ren- 
dered thought-experiment, and 
quite a good one at that. No won- 
der the game has shown up in so 
many classrooms over the years. 

Interfacing With 
Your Public 

The newest incarnation of 
SlMClTY may take a bit more time 
to get used to than the original. 
The interface is clear and well- 
designed, but it's not particularly 
intuitive. Playing, as I did, without 
a manual, is tough: One hopes for 
clear, concise documentation, as 
well as reference sheets or charts 
to help navigate through the 
multilayered menus. Onscreen or 
online help would be appreciated 
as well. 

Controls are sensible and easily 
mastered — once you get a feel for 
them. Moving the cursor does not 


cause the screen to scroll automat- 
ically; you have to hold down the 
right mouse button for that. This 
bothered me until ! remembered 
how annoying autoscroll can be 
when you don't wantto scroll. 

Some aspects of running your 
city have been simplified — provid- 
ing power and water to your citi- 
zens and their enterprises is more 
automated than i recall from earli- 
er versions. 

Other aspects are more realis- 
tic — particularly the handling and 
disposal of your city's garbage. As 
in the real world, this quickly 
becomes a dance of various trade- 
offs and compromises, each of 
which affects your population and 
the effectiveness of your city 
administration. Neighborhoods 
develop personalities and, one 
assumes, virtual voting habits. 
Depending on your policies, you'll 
find yourself more popular in 
some parts of town than others. 

Without the budgeting features 
implemented I hesitate to com- 
ment on the economic side of 
things, but I have little doubt that 
economic tools will likewise show 
a leap in sophistication over previ- 
ous versions. 

On the whole, SlMClTY 3000 
delivers a far more realistic feel for 
the populations of its cities, and the 
behavior patterns of blocs within 
that population than did its prede- 
cessors. Some of this depth is 
accomplished graphically: Richer 
renderings are used to deliver infor- 
mation as well as aesthetic appeal. 

Look at Me 

Some of the enhancements are 
cosmetic— and cosmetic of a high 
order. SlMClTY has never looked 
better. The graphics, particularly in 



SKYSCRAPE VIA NETSCAPE 
You'll be able to share and 
compare cities via the 
www.simcity.com Web site. 


any of the several close-up zoom 
views, offer a nearly photographic 
level of detail. People and vehicles 
move through the city. Plant, 
water, and other details are like- 
wise more realistic and convincing 
than ever. 

Disasters continue to play a 
part in the sim-saga, and there 
are plenty of catastrophes here 
waiting to undo your hard work. 

Sound effects enhance the illu- 
sion to a degree that surprised 
me. The sound is contextual — its 
nature changes depending on the 
part of town you're in. Visit a park- 
and you'll hear children; go to an 
industrial zone and you'll hear the 
sounds of work. It's a nice and 
effective touch. 

A news ticker contains informa- 
tion, but also a repetitive series of 
"cute" statements that grow tire- 
some. You can remove this and 
other control features from the 
screen. There's also a good selec- 
tion of background music scores 
from which to pick. 

The introduction of a variety of 
beautifully rendered famous 
buildings, including the Alamo 
and the United Nations, is a 
delight and provides the gamer 
with the opportunity to put famil- 
iar pieces of grand architecture in 
the midst of Anytown, 

A feature called Starter Towns, 
not yet implemented, promises to 
offer historical towns and the 
challenges those communities 
faced. I would like to see some of 
the theoretical and fictional towns 
offered as well. But I suppose that 
most of us will create our own 
cities, towns, and burgs, as we 
always have. Starting with a patch 
of ground, we build our dreams — 
into utopia, dystopia, or some- 
thing in-between. 

The results in SlMClTY 3000 are, 
more than ever, up to us and our 
planning and managing abilities. 
The designers of this program 
have done well by it, honoring a 
justly famous predecessor and at 
the same time adding touches 
and tools of their own that should 
help ensure SlMClTY a solid place 
in gamerooms and classrooms for 
the next millennium. 


^.computefgaming.c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 










By Jeff Green 

T alk about your fast 
starts. Ubi Soft's FI 
RACING SIMULATION, 
released earlier this year, 
was an outstanding 
Formula 1 game that 
instantly took its place 
next to MicroProse's 
GRAND PRIX series and Sierra’s 
NASCAR games as one of the best 
racing sims in years. Not bad for a 
rookie title. 

Now Ubi Soft is hoping to make 
the same kind of splash in the 
arcade racer market with SPEED 
BUSTERS, a fast-paced, action- 
oriented NEED FOR SPEEO-alike 
that uses the FI RACING engine. 
Why would you want to play 
SPEED BUSTERS over NEED FOR 
SPEED III? We were wondering this 
ourselves. But after a few spins 
with the beta {the game should 
be out by the time you read this), 
we discovered that, as with FI 
RACING, Ubi Soft has built in 
enough innovations and unique 



gameplay elements to distinguish 
itself and to seriously challenge its 
competition. 

Dinosaur Crossing 

If anything, SPEED BUSTERS is 
even more arcadey and cartoony 
than NFS. Subtitled AMERICAN 
FIIGHWAYS, the game comes with 
six main tracks set in a variety of 
locations, including Aspen, Los 
Angeles, Louisiana , Nevada, and 
Canada. Although each track 
includes recognizable "real life" 
iconography, the fantasy element 
is cranked way up in this game. 
Thus, a spin through the Nevada 
desert will include a gathering of 
flying saucers overhead, while the 
Hollywood track includes a detour 
through a movie studio with a 
giant Godzilla-type creature 
roaming the street. 

The great thing about these 
animated objects is that they’re 
not just window dressing. Instead, 
these are real objects that you can 
collide with and that will actively 
get in your way and impede your 
progress as you race. On the 
Hollywood track. Godzilla might 
take a swipe at your car and send 
you careening out of control. On 
the Aspen track, a rock slide might 
strike your car or a snow blower 
might obstruct your view. The 


environments will change as the 
laps progress. 

Auto Eroticism 

In contrast to the cartoony envi- 
ronments, however, is some semi- 
serious driving. Because the game 
is based on the FI RACING engine, 
car handling is more sophisticated 
than in the average arcade racer. 

It's still easy, and your options for 
tweaking your vehicle are limited, 
but it's still quite common to spin 
out or lose control. Surface is a real 
factor here — you're going to slow 
down in the gravel and slip and 
slide in the snow. 

Unlike NFS, SPEED BUSTERS does 
not include real licensed vehicles, 
but instead uses seven fantasy cars 
based on 1950s and 1990s auto- 


mobile designs. The irony here is 
that, while you don't get the thrill 
of racing a real-life Aston Martin or 
Ferrari, the trade-off is greater real- 
ism: These fantasy cars can take 
and show damage — something 
that NFS' licensed vehicles aren't 
allowed to do — and the damage 
will affect your car's performance. 
You'll be able to customize your 
vehicle's look by creating custom 
"skins," which you will also be 
able to upload and download from 
Ubi Soft's Web site, 

The game's 3D graphics (which 
require an accelerator) are impres- 
sive — crisp, detailed, and with a 
broad color palette, with liberal 
use of transparency and particle 
effects, which adds to realism. 
Music is another nice touch. Each 
track has been scored separately, 
and within each track, different 
musical themes are applied to 
match the environment. It's a nice 
change of pace from the standard 
driving game techno/Euro twaddle. 

NFS Buster? 

Since SPEED BUSTERS is still in 
beta, we can't render a real judg- 
ment yet. There's still a lot that's 
not implemented, including multi- 
player action and the game's 
Championship mode. Do PC rac- 
ing fans really want a game with 
giant dinosaurs and flying 
saucers? Maybe not the same 
crowd that wants GRAND PRIX 
LEGENDS, but we'll see. One thing 
that FI RACING SIMULATION 
proved, though, is that Ubi Soft 
knows how to make a great 
driving game. Don't count SPEED 
BUSTERS out. SSB 



Pii we went to press, Ubi Soft announced the sequel to FI RACING 
SIMULATION, called MONACO GRAND PRiX RACING SIMULATION 2. At 
present, we don't know much besides that Ubi Soft is promising 


even greater control, deeper customization, and a track editor. Look 
for a detailed sneak preview in an upcoming issue of CGW. 


I\ COMPUTER GAMING WORlD » DECEMBER 1998 


iputergaming.c 





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COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 




MECHWARRIOR 


I 



DOWN, BUT NOT OUT 


(n previous giant robot games, it's been enough to deck the opposing 
Gears, or HERCs. in MECHWARRIOR 3, your opponents are likely to extend an 
appendage and rise to the challenge. 


Shooting Scars 

Playable from either a first-person (cockpit) or 
third-person (chase-the-Mech view) perspective, 
MECHWARRIOR 3 features enough eye-popping action 
to make you think your monitor is in danger of 
exploding. A Bushwhacker pulverizes a stone column 
into dust, initiating a chain reaction in which the cor- 
ner of a building falls atop an unsuspecting Owens 
and crushes it. The crushing damage causes an exolo- 
sion, and the Owens becomes unsalvageable slag. A 
Mad Cat gets pummeled to the ground by a barrage 
of autocannon rounds. But while it looks as immobi- 
lized as someone on the wrong end of a Muhammad 
Ali knockout blow, amazingly, the Mad Cat extends 
an appendage and pulls itself to its feet like the 
gigantic humanoid it resembles, Mechs hide in bodies 
of water and jump-jet — seemingly out of nowhere — 
to ambush your lance. Mechs step on and obliterate 
objects. MechWarriors navigate huge caves and tun- 
nels and fight in urban environments and the great 
outdoors. Mechs with damaged legs take on a crip- 
pled bird walk as they limp and stumble in the 
fight— a fascinating effect whether viewed from the 
third-person perspective or experienced firsthand in 
the jiggling cockpit view. Everything about the look of 
MECHWARRIOR 3 has the impact of a long-range mis- 
sile, It won't soon be forgotten. 

Smoke Jaguars in Your Eyes 

MECHWARRIOR 3 is set within the Twilight of the 
Clans series of novels. That makes it A.D. 3058 in the 
FASA universe when the heroes of the Inner Sphere are 
still struggling against the renegade might of the Clans. 
In the single-player campaign in MECHWARRIOR 3, the 


iVlECHWARRIOR 3 features 
make you think your 


gamer and his or her fictional comrades will face the 
might and technological superiority of the dreaded 
Smoke Jaguar Clan. It begins with a rather routine 
police action (a la Korea?), which immediately goes 
awry (naturally, the player doesn't know that right off) 
and continues to escalate. Fortunately, gamers have 
some new tools at their disposal. 

First, the new mission editor enables you to edit 
waypoints for your Mech and Mobile Command Base 
(MCB) immediately after the mission briefing. From 
the same map where you observed the mission 
objectives and known enemy concentrations, you'll be 
able to grab, click, and move waypoints. What's par- 
ticularly interesting is that during the course of the 


COMPUTER GAMING WOULD « DECEMBER 1 998 


ii.compulergaming.c 




CRUSHING DEFEAT 


I 



enough eye-popping action to 
monitor might explode. 


route to certain waypoints and will directly attack it with your Mech 
inside if they can. 

Fourth, since heat plays a critical factor. MechWarriors can now hit 
a keystroke to automatically flush coolant through their Mech's sys- 
tem. You can do this twice during a mission, and it's invaluable 
when you're firing your most powerful weapons against large enemy 
Mechs or taking too many energy blasts from a Firefly. 

Fifth, you can now establish up to five weapon groupings. You 
have to do this in the Mech Laboratory before initiating a given mis- 
sion. But this is easy and offers a customizability that gamers have 
longed for since early in the series. 

Finally, MECHWARRIOR 3 sports the widest assortment of Mechs in 
the history of the series. You'll pilot or face the following beautifully 
portrayed Mechs: Avatar, Blackhawk, Bushwhacker, Cauldron-born, 


campaign you'll find that the data 
provided by your mission briefing is 
simultaneously invaluable and 
spotty. At times, you'll need to trust 
your instincts and reset the way- 
points for your survival. 

Second, you now have a one- 
click zoom, which enables you to 
pinpoint long-range targets better, 

This view not only looks great, but 
assists you in making sure that 
you're taking out a Mech efficiently 
enough to be able to scavenge 
from it. Salvage is vital in 
MECHWARRIOR 3. By changing the 
green targeting circle first to yellow 
and then to red, the interface even 
lets you know that your weaponry 
is in, respectively, extreme and then 
effective range. This feature adds 
new tactical nuances. 

As an aside, experienced 
MechWarriors who have always enjoyed targeting one leg and 
shooting it until it is amputated will still be able to use that tactic. 
However, you will now have to deal double-damage to the leg to 
sever it. Single damage causes a distinctive, animated limp. It’s very 
satisfying to have your enemy doing a high-tech version of the 
chicken dance while you outmaneuver the lame-duck pilot and take 
out a higher priority objective. 

Third, you now have command of a MCB — rather a mixed bless- 
ing. It is a boon because for the first time you can replenish your 
ammunition and repair damaged armor in the midst of a mission. 
You merely enter the MCB and it starts to work on you. 
Unfortunately, the Al Mechs will try to ambush the MCB while it's en 


in MECK- 


As 
sequence 
shows, 

be a 


iputergaming.c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


MECHWARRIOR 3 






''Viv; 


SID MEIER'S 

ALPHA 

C E N I A U K I 

From the creators of Sid Meier's 
Civilization I ft II, Colonization 
and Railroad Tycoon . 


Design your land, air and sea units 
to best serve your strategy. With over 
32,000 eonfiguralions you can build — 
and conquer t)n your own terms. 


Grow stronger by building dozens of 
base facilities or v/orking on astounding 
"Secret Projects" that ensure unique 
bonuses for your faction... and you. 


Use terraformers to raise and lower 
the land, altering weather patterns and 
the course of rivers. Make the planet 
more suitable for you or harsher for 
your opponents. 


2200 AD. What’s left of civilization has landed on a inyslerious alien planei. And it’s 
up to you to chart the fate of humanity. Which of seven governing factions will you 
choose to lead? Each has Its own strengths and weaknesses-and its own agenda. 
It’s legenilaty Sid Meter strategy gameplay taken to a whole new level. Just don't 
forget to watch your back. Gel the full story and demo ai www.alphaccnlauri.com 

Explore. Discover. Build. Conquer. For The Future Of Mankind. 





MECHWARRIOR 




I 



Every angle of the cockp 
is available for viewing, 
including the controls 
above your head, if you 
tire of the first-person 
viewpoint though, you 
can play the entire 
game from third-person 
perspective. 


Nav: Darn 


Mechs with damaged legs limp and stumble in the 
fight.... It's very satisfying to have your enemy doing 
a high-tech version of the chicken dance. 


Champion, Dasishi, Firefly. Mad 
Cat, Orion, Owens, Shadowcat, 
Strider, Thor, and Vulture. In addi- 
tion, you'll face your share of 
Elementals — the elite infantry of 
the Smoke taguars, which can be 
both pesky and deadly when 
attacking your Mech en masse. 

Enemy Thine 

Of course, all of the improve- 
ments described above don’t really 
matter without improved enemy Al. 
Frankly, MECHWARRIOR 3 has great 


Al. Even though the version we 
played doesn't have the Al fully 
tuned, we can tell that the enemy 
Mechs are going to be smart. 

Al routines for the computer- 
controlled MechWarriorswill run 


the gamut from rookies through 
regulars to elite. The mix of piloting 
skill will change according to the 
mission setup and limitations. You 
also won't necessarily know the 
skill of the pilot from the size of 


the Mech. Big doesn't necessarily 
mean better, but as elite enemy 
pilots proliferate, you will notice 
that Mech configurations will 
change from standard configura- 
tions to more exotic ones. 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 199B 


^.computcrgaming.c 







funny tfiings^yp pen 
tD^|;n\p,eop(er|A 
a f(ajn cn-tfjtotD if g Oregon 


MECH WARRIOR 





sweated profusely throughout the 
exercises as though their lives 
were really on the line. 

The folks at Zipper observed 
military personnel using SimNet at 
Fort Knox, Kentucky, and were 
greatly impressed; they've since 


The biggest improvement in the 
Al routines is the fact that they are 
no longer primarily scripted. 

Enemy Mechs will act and react 
according to tactical routines pre- 
cipitated by their own mission 
objectives, damage situation, 
ammunition supply, number of 
enemies faced, primary attack 
types, and pilot skill. You can no 
longer simply assume that you’ll 
have only a given number of 
Mechs to face when you enter a 
particular combat venue. The force 
mix of the enemy will depend on a 
number of dynamic factors as will 
the level of their aggressiveness. 


When you tire of making a big 
splash, you can jump-jet out of 
the water and onto the beach. 
Should you land on something 
like this unfortunate crate, it 
ceases to be an obstacle. 


SimMech 

New hands have been at the 
controls of MECHWARRIOR 3 since 
the game's inception. (Zipper 
Interactive took over develop- 
ment from fledgling FA5A 
Interactive, a division of the pub- 
lisher that created the BattleTech 
universe.) But from what we've 
seen, the new hands appear to 
be elite ones. Zipper is peopled 
largely by military contractors 
who helped build the U.S. Army's 
SimNet experience. (SimNet was 
the networked universe of com- 
bat vehicle simulations that pre- 
pared U.S. troops for the Gulf 
War.) SimNet was so realistic that 
some tankers have been known 
to exit the simtank vehicle to 
take compass readings; others 


tried to apply that same profes- 
sionalism to MECHWARRIOR 3. 
They laugh about being so serious 
about a fictitious universe, but the 
result is a MECHWARRIOR universe 
that feels right and — given sus- 
pended disbelief — seems realistic. 
So far, MECHWARRIOR 3 definitely 
ranks as the most powerful Mech 
experience yet. LK'iVJ 


Even the aesthetic touches, such 
as differing footprints left 
behind in various terrain, have 
implications within the game. 


JET LAG 


BIGFOOT LIVES 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


/.compulcrgaming.c 







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Have Yourself a Mayhem Chrisi^as. . . 
a Harrowing Hanukkah...a Sinister Saturnalia! 


t he idea of the "average" gamer's holiday may well be as much of an 
aberration as the "typical" nuclear family depicted on these pages. 

Images of blow torches and depleted uranium shells instead of the 
sugar plums of old may dance in the heads of gamers tucked in their 
beds on the proverbial "Night Before." Mayhem is as likely to define 
merriment for gamers as much as the jolly old fat man of holiday lore. 

As in holidays past, our Holiday Hot 100 appears to assist you in explaining your 
holiday wishes to those of a gentler persuasion. Our editors have once again drawn up 
lists of the best games in each genre that are likely to come out this holiday season or 
are already out. However, like Jacob Marley's ghost in the Dickens classic, some of 
what is shown may be visions of what might be or could be— rather than what must 
be. We've tried to include only those products with a high chance of releasing before 
the holidays, but we can't guarantee that the development elves at every company will 
actually make their ship dates. 

We boldly suggest that you check out this guide, circle the games you'd most like to 
unwrap during the holiday season, and pass the magazine along to your favorite gift 
giver. With your help, they can avoid being virtual Scrooges because they just didn't 
understand what you wanted. Yule be glad you did. 

www.computergaming.com COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 103 \ 




THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 


Index 


Action 


Battlezone 109 

Dark Vengeance 112 

Half-Life 108 

Heart of Darkness 115 

Klingon Honor Guard 115 

Oddworld; Abe's Exodus 115 

Requiem 109 

Shogo: Mobile Armor Division 112 

Sin 115 

Thief: The Dark Project 112 


Adventure 


The Blackstone Chronicles 124 

Grim Fandango 121 

King's Quest: Mask of Eternity 120 

Redguard 124 

Sanitarium 121 


Classics and Puzzles 


Creatures 2 136 

Don't Touch That Dial 138 

Gobble II 138 

Smart Games Challenge #3 137 

Stratego 137 


Hardware 


ADS Technologies USB Hub 215 

Anchor Chips EZ-Link 215 

Boston Acoustics 635 Speakers 221 

Canopus Pure3D-ll LX 2-Card Set 218 

Creative Sound Blaster Live! 215 

Gravis Xterminator 221 

Guillemot Maxigamer Phoenix 214 

PowerLeap AMD K6-2 Upgrade 215 

STB Velocity 4400 214 

Suncom Controller Pack 218 

Blue's Clues: Blue's Birthday Adventure 224 

Curious George Reads, Writes & Spells 226 

The D-Show 225 

Freddi Fish 3: The Case of the 

Stolen Conch Shell 225 

HeadRush 224 

Lego Loco 226 

Mulan Animated Storybook 225 

SimSafari 225 

Small Soldiers: Squad Commander 226 

Starfire Soccer 226 

FI Racing Simulation 180 

Grand Prix Legends 184 

Moto Racer 2 187 

Motocross Madness 187 

Need for Speed 111: Hot Pursuit 184 


Role-Playing Games 


Baldur's Gate 127 

Fallout 2 129 

Final Fantasy VII 127 

Might and Magic VI 126 

Return to Krondor 129 


Simulations 


Apache-Havoc 153 

Combat Flight Simulator 156 

European Air War 151 

F-16 Multirole Fighter/MiG-29 Fulcrum 151 

F22 Total Air War 153 

Falcon 4.0 148 

Fighter Squadron: The Screamin' Demons 

Over Europe 148 

Fly! 153 

Israeli Air Force 151 

World War II Fighters 144 


Space Sims 


Descent: Freespace 165 

Heavy Gear II 164 

Independence War 160 

StarSiege 164 

Wing Commander: Prophecy Gold Edition 165 


Sports 


Baseball Mogul 173 

FIFA 98/World Cup 98 166 

Front Office Football 173 

Links LS 99 170 

Madden NFL 99 167 

NBA Live 99 170 

NCAA Football 99 173 

NHL 99 170 

Sporting Clays 176 

VR Baseball 2000: Next Generation Baseball 167 


stocking Stutters 


CGW 237 

Create and Share Camera Pack 228 

Diamond Rio PMP300 Portable Music Player 228 

Redshift 3 237 

Lego MindStorms 228 

Birth of the Federation 195 

Command 8! Conquer 2:Tiberian Sun 193 

Heroes of Might and Magic III 191 

Jagged Alliance 2 195 

Myth II: Soulblighter 191 

Populous: The Beginning 193 

Railroad Tycoon II 195 

StarCraft 190 

Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate 191 

Warlords 111: Darklords Rising 193 


Wargames 


101:The 101st Airborne in Normandy 206 

Aide de Camp 2.0 206 

Axis & Allies 203 

Battle of Britain 203 

Dragoon 209 

Great Battles Series: Collector's Edition 209 

North vs. South 206 

The Operational Art of War 202 

People's General 209 

West Front 206 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD ♦ DECEMBER 1998 


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© 1998. MicroPoint and Micropad are trademarks or registered trademarks of Allra, Inc. All rights reserved. 



Microsoft 



Meet the Microsoft* Sidewinder™ Force Feedback Wheel and the processor, And with Game Controller Software you can program 

Force Feedback Pro joystick. Feel the force of every game action buttons to the actions in the games. Did we mention you can use 

in the palm of your hand, thanks to a colossal 16 bit, 25 MHz them with over eighty games? Buckle up. You're in for a bumpy n'de. 


Microsoft Urban Assault ” comes free with the Force Feedback Pro. 

Microsoft Monster Truck Madness"2 and Microsoft CART Precision Racing'" come free 


C 1998 AH rtghts leseivoS- MiCrosolL Monster Truck Madness. Precision Racing. SkJeWmdef i 


I Asssuti are i 


• legtstafod Irademarks or Irademarks of Microsolt Corporalott in IKe i 


I Slates nndror other countries. 





rue 


Force Feedback Wheel Force Feedback Pro Joystick 


with the Wheel. 



shorter than the half-life of cesium 
137. it looked as though it might 
never be released. Well, HALF-LIFE 
should be out in time for the holi- 
days, and it should definitely top 
any action fanatic's wish list. 

HALF-LIFE takes the worn 
premise of alien invasion and 
injects it with vibrant new life, 
thrusting gamers into the most 
immersive alternate world yet 
burned onto a CD-ROM. This is 
accomplished through scores of 


HALF-LIFE takes the worn premise of alien invasion and 
injects it with vibrant new life, thrusting gamers into the 
most immersive alternate world yet burned onto a CD-ROM. 



little touches and scripted scenes 
that create an incredibly cinematic 
feel. Spin around a corner to see a 
howling research scientist pulled 
to his doom through a shattered 
ceiling. Run into a hallway and 
jump when a mutant tears through 
the door behind you. Escape on a 
descending elevator platform and 
hastily reload your puny .45 as 
skittering aliens plummet after 
you. The overwhelming sensation 
you have when playing HALF-LIFE 
is of constantly trying to catch 
your breath. 

Adding to the challenge is the 
advanced Al of the monsters, 
who'll hunt in packs, pursue you 


through the levels, and retreat. 
Fortunately, you're not always 
forced to deal with them alone. 

You can direct security personnel 
to accompany you and even get 
some characters to administer 
much-needed medical treatment. 

The Valve team has pushed the 
QUAKE II engine to its limits and 
has added a lot of its own code. 
The results are horrifyingly detailed 
monsters, brilliant explosions, and 
a gameworld that almost seems 
alive. Dynamic textures allow you 
to see bullet holes in walls and let 
you bash almost anything you see. 
All this adds up to a game any 
action fan would love as a gift. 




GAMING WORLD ■ DECEMBER 1998 


iputergaming.c 



THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 




2. REQUIEM 


3. BATTLEZOME 


Windows 95 CD-ROM, 550 
3D0, {650)261-3000 

www.3do.com 

Fallen angels have 

come to Earth, infecting the popu- 
lace with their evil and summon- 
ing demons to do their bidding. 
You are Malachi, one of the 
Chosen, a loyal angel who's been 
sent to do whatever it takes to 
stop the Fallen from creating a 
true Hell on Earth. It's the ultimate 
battle between Good and Evil, and 
it rages in 3D0's REQUIEM. 

Dark and foreboding, REQUIEM 
is beautiful to look at, with incred- 
ibly detailed environments that 
embody the spreading corruption 
of the Fallen. The action takes 
place in dank cityscapes, sinister 
cathedrals, and the bowels of 
Chaos itself. The attention to detail 
is as evident in the intricate 
design of stained glass windows 
as it is in a painting hung in a 
seedy bar. While the game will run 
in software, you'll need a 3D card 
to get the most out of it. 

REQUIEM will feature only five 
traditional weapons as opposed 
to a shooter's usual bloated arse- 
nal. The focus will be on the 24 
divine powers of Malachi. As an 


takes place from the cockpit of the 
gamer's missile-slinging command 
tank via a mouse-driven interface 
that is one of the slickest and 
most intuitive to be found in any 
game. A handy 3D topographical 
map helps you and your units 
negotiate and exploit the treach- 
erous cliffs and canyons that scar 
each planet. A rich back-story sets 
up the deftly designed missions, 
culminating in battles and base 
assaults that erupt in an explosive 
orgy of blasting gun towers, cir- 
cling rocket tanks, and the thun- 
derous attacks of the slow but 
deadly Goliath walkers. 

Some terrific 3D effects — 
including choking smoke, brilliant 
explosions, and the lovingly 
detailed units themselves — make 
BATTLEZONE a visual delight. 
Multiplayer action is a blast, fea- 
turing deathmatches in which 
players can man weapon-loaded 
lunar probes as well as the full- 
bore strategic game. Certain to 
please any gamer, BATTLEZONE is 
not to be missed. 


Taking place during 
the great Space Race 
of the '60s and '70s, 

BATTLEZONE ranges 
across the planets and 
moons of the Milky 
Way as the United 
States and Russia slug 
it out to possess a 
strange new element. 

While the game retains the 
hover-tank blasting action of the 
coin-op original, it adds a whole 
new layer of strategy, stressing 
resource management, troop tac- 
tics. and hasp hiiildinn All nf this 


angel, he can turn 
enemies to salt, make 
blood boil, control 
minds, and fire devas- 
tating lightning bolts. 

His powers are not all 
offensive either; they 
include shielding and 
deflection. To succeed, 
gamers will have to 
master ail the skills, not 
just the killing ones. 

NPCs will help propel 
the story through 
sequences animated by 
the robust game engine. 

With moving mouths 
and faces, they're some 
of the most lifelike NPCs 
we've seen in a shooter. 
Interartion with them is integral 
to moving through the game and 
should alleviate the key hunts that 
normally plague such games. 


Windows 95 CD-ROM, $49.95 
Activision, (310) 255-2050 

www.activision.com 


MORE THAN AN UPDATE 

of the arcade classic, Activision's 
BATTLEZONE not only reinvents the 
hoary tank genre but sets the 
standard in the growing realm of 
action/real-time stratpnv hubriris. 


y.compiitergaming.c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 jitlil 








Irict 63tl>e[ioo of Developers 



34 different cargos and 59 en^n^S 
from around the world. 


1024 X 768 graphics in '16-bljj 
color. Up to 300.000 pi>|lygoqs 
.on the screen at once. ' jj{i 


40 different tycoons all 
one {*oal: bankrupting .you. 


rfn York to South 

ric^ ill, you from the year 

iS^.oljiJ^w^r''^000.' It can take you 
If veMmcaa manual laborer to 


power* 

Bitt^iin^^irc. It can take you 
well^adjusteJ, wi^||P* 
an obuased, tinple* 


lactation, 






i ' • 





■SsMis; 


illiil-L-S 








THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 




THE DARK PROJECT 


intriguing story. For anyone who 
even remotely enjoys anime, 
SHOGO is a great gift choice. 


6.DARKVEMGEAMCE 


Windows 95 CD-ROM, $54,95 
GT Interactive, (2t2) 726-4205 

www.gtinteractive.com 

A STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL 

gameworld and breathtaking 
action set DARK VENGEANCE apart 
from the pack. Bash your way 
through a classic fantasy setting 
as one of three characters: a 
heavily muscled Gladiator, a spell- 
wielding Warlock, or a crafty 
Trickster, Each character comes 
with a unique set of weapons, like 
a staff that materializes vicious 
bats and a devastating mace that 
covers its wielder in protective 
stone. With each character deliver- 
ing dramatically different action, 
the replay value is high. 

Hand-to-hand combat goes 
beyond merely mashing a "Fire" 
button because characters have 
multiple attack moves and can 
dodge and block attacks. More 
than 40 monsters — such as 
knights made of stained glass, 
dark elves, and wolf bats — chal- 
lenge you in 18 missions, includ- 
ing three character-specific levels. 


5. SHOGO: MOBILE 


ARMOR DIVISIOM 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, $49,99 
Monolith Productions, (800) 241-4263 

www.nth.com 


WHILE MOST FIRST-PERSON 

shooters tend to share the same 
sort of feel. Monolith has looked 
eastward for the concept and 
design of SHOGO: MOBILE ARMOR 
DIVISION. Inspired by such anime 
as Patlabor, Macross, Gundam, 
and Neon Genesis Evangelion, 


Windows 95 CD-ROM, $49.99 
Eidos Interactive, (415) 547-1200 

www.eidosinteracive.com 

ONE OF THE MOST ORIGINAL IDEAS IN ACTION 
gaming distinguishes THIEF: You're cast as a burglar 
who must utilize the utmost in stealth to achieve his 
goals. Discarding the run-and-gun mentality that 


dominates most first-person 
games, THIEF creates a palpable 
tension while you eavesdrop on 
enemies, use water arrows to 
douse torches, creep along heavily 
shadowed walls, and dispose of 
the few bodies you leave behind 
{lest the guards discover them). 
The 3D-accelerated graphics are 
great, creating moody cobblestone 
streets bathed in gloom and bring- 
ing the dank, forbidding, pseudo- 
medieval world to life. 


SHOGO casts you as a young 
officer in the United Corporal 
Authority Security Force. All the 
anime conventions are there: 
an intricate story filled with a 
host of characters: loads of 
mecha action; and a wide vari- 
ety of over-the-top weaponry. 
Using Monolith’s own LithTech 
engine, which stands up weli 
to the QUAKE II engine, SHOGO 
features branching missions, 
action that alternates between 
being on-foot and piloting the 
Mobile Combat Armor, well- 
animated characters, and an 


A stunningly beautiful gameworld 
and breathtaking action set DARK 
VENGEANCE apart from the pack. 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


/.coiTiputerg.iming.i 








www.southpeak.com 




Fast-paced, 3D arcade game 
featuring the off-the-wall 
humor of Pinky & the Brain 
One to Eight Players 
Tournament Play available 
LAN and Internet Multiplayer 
options 

20 pre-designed mazes and count- 
less others available through 
random maze generation 
Build your own mazes with the 
included maze generator 
3 Types play: percentage of 
territory, timed play, tag/ 
keep-away 

Spectacular lights and sounds 
Compatible with Gravis-type 
Joypad, or Keyboard/Mouse 


15 (o </«v5efoi> 

---r 

1/ ■ * 


hofU wd( ply iUZ7^U 

wdi ^st trTi 

Ww™ / / t I 






i PHILIPS 

biimhiUtfgilMiif' 


• The aftereffects of the Philips Digital USB : 
* •• 1 Speakers. Not your average PC speakers. 

Whether its the DSS350 or DSS370, Immerse yourself in the experience 
of high intensity sound. Featuring “Incredible Surround” — 3D digital sound 
quality and “Hot Plug &c Play” for easy installation. Philips Digital USB 
speakers. Its nor only sound you can hear, its sound you can feel. For more 
info, call 1-800-835-3506 or visit us at www.usbaudio.phillps.com 

OIWK Philip, iilectfuiiicj Nonii Amcria c:of|>gtaiioii 


THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 



7. ODDWORLD: 


ABE'S EXODDUS 


9. SIN 


Windows 95/98 CO-ROM, S49.95 
GT Interactive, (212) 726-4205 

www.gtmteractive.com 


THE WONDERFULLY ODD 

characters of Oddworld return in 
this captivating sequel to ABE’S 
OODYSEE. This time the Glukkons 
are using Mudokons to mine 
bones for SouiStorm brew, and it's 
up to Abe to rescue them. He has 
a number of tricks at his disposal, 
such as possessing his enemies or 
using his farts as floating bombs. 
Abe's charming speech ability is 
also important to the game, and 
his vocabulary has Improved. 

EXODDUS boasts lush graphics 
and challenging puzzles consistent 
with the world. Even better, you 
can now save at any point. Unfor- 
tunately, our version forces you to 
quit your game before you can 
load a saved one. We hope the 
final version will fix this. 


have attacked the High Council. 
KHG features 26 levels ranging 
through seven alien worlds. Better 
still, it spotlights some of the most 
popular Star Trek denizens, includ- 
ing Andorians, Nausicans, and, of 
course, hordes of Klingons. 

You'll be armed with a full com- 
plement of weapons to help you 
spill the magenta-hued blood of 
the Klingons, including particle- 
dispersal cannons and the vicious 
Bat’leth. Actors from the series 
provide the voices. 


Windows 95 CD-ROM, S49.95 
Activision. (310) 255-2050 

www.activision.com 


SJtUNGOI^^ 

homor'guard' 


Windows 95 CD-ROM, S55 
MicroProse, (510) 864-4550 

www.micropro5e.com 

THE BEST GAME USING 

the UNREAL engine this year may 
not be UNREAL, but KLINGON 
HONOR GUARD (KHG). Set in the 
Next Generation universe, the 
game casts you as a member of 
the Guard charged with tracking 
down renegade Klingons who 


SAVING SIN FROM BEING 

just another first-person shooter 
are the people behind it — Ritual 
Entertainment. With the acclaimed 
Levellord designing levels, you can 




Stocking 


ooklng to take your action gam- 
-«ing proclivities into the real world? 
Paintball Is a good (and legal) option. If that's 
your bent, consider picking up Kingman 
International's new Spyder Elite paintgun for S225. 
Capable of firing balls at 298 feet per second and fea- 
turing a Turbulence Venturi bolt for increased accuracy 
and distance, the Spyder Elite more than gets the job done. 
www.kingmanu5a.com 


expect lots of insidious surprises 
and challenges. The story-driven 
action begins when your alter ego, 
John Blade, is called in to thwart a 
less-than-routine bank robbery 
only to discover a larger plot that 
propels him across six dynamic 


game regions. Weapon-loaded 
vehicles are available in limited 
portions of the game, all the bet- 
ter to mow down SiN's crafty ene- 
mies, who use cover and shadow, 
follow you (even up elevators), 
and shoot at you through glass. 



10. HEART 
OF DARKNESS 

Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, S49.95 
Interplay, (800) INTERPLAY 

www.interpiay.com 

DESIGNED BY THE TEAM 

behind OUT OF THIS WORLD and 
FLASHBACK, this game was lost in 
development limbo for years but 
has finally seen the light of day. 
Don't let its lack of 3D or its 


side-scrolling gameplay put you 
off, HEART OF DARKNESS (HOD) is 
a compelling platform game that 
requires thinking arrcf reflexes. 
Seamlessly Integrating FMV and 
gameplay, HOD features lush 
background art; detailed, animat- 
ed characters; and stellar use of 
sound. Perhaps the game's only 
flaw is that it's too short. Fans of 
side-scrolling platform games 
won't want to miss this one. 


A 


i(.computergaming.( 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1 998 









jd>IERR/{ 

^ STUDIOS 


www.sierrastud ros.com 


©1998 SiBffa On-Line', 'ffic., Bellevue, WA 9Q0Q7; ® and or TM designate trademarks ol^.or.fl'censfld to' Sierra On-Line, Ino. All Rights Reserved. 






16 'bit color 


60 spells to create and adapt 


ill plot-twisting 


Tactically complex, turn-based combat 


R eturn to a land of intrigue and adventure. Lead your band of five characters on 
^ a quest to recover the Tear of the Gods, a mystical relic coveted by a madman 
bent on spreading darkness across the land of Midkemia. From the dizzying heights 
of Krondor's Palace, to the haunted depths of a temple dedicated to an evil as ancient 
as the gods themselves, never before has an RPG given you so much of what you want. 


Goto#192 @ www.computergamlng.coiTi/infolink 

The O-FFrcrAJ- 3EQ.ue_ to the Best Sei-liho RF<? 





THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 





lEven More Gift 


Ideas for Action Fans 


If you prefer spells and staves 
to guns and ammo, check out 
Activision's HERETIC II, powered by 
the QUAKE II engine. You play from 
a third-person perspective as you 
seek to find a cure to a hideous 
plague spreading across the conti- 
nent. But don't think the fantasy 
setting and third-person perspec- 
tive make this some sort of "Elf 
Raider." The emphasis here is 
squarely on action as you hack, 
slash, and blast fireballs through 
richly imagined cities, swamps, 
and dungeons. 

Finally, online gamers might 
enjoy FIRETEAM or STAR SIEGE: 
TRIBES, FIRETEAM ships with a 
microphone headset that allows 
you to converse with your squad- 
mates in realtime to coordinate 
attacks in this third-person shoot- 
er. This Internet-only game won't 
ship until early 1999 but can be 
ordered directly from Multitude. 
Dynamix' STAR SIEGE: TRIBES also 
emphasizes team play, but from 
the more traditional first-person 
perspective. TRIBES features varia- 
tions of "Capture the Flag" on 
huge alien worlds and can be 
played on a LAN or the Internet. 


IT'S TOUGH TO WHITTLE 

the crowded action genre down to 
just 10 titles since there are plenty 
of games worthy of attention. 
There are just too many to 
squeeze into that main list, so 
here are a few more suggestions. 

Even the most Luddite non- 
gamers probably know of Lara 
Croft by now. She and her freshly 
pierced navel will be hitting store 
shelves sometime before 
Christmas in TOMB RAIDER III. This 
year's model features 15 nonlinear 
levels taking place in locales as 
various as the South Pacific, India, 
and the United States' (in)famous 
alien research facility, Area 51 . 
TOMB Raider's signature lush 
graphics keep getting better and 
sport multicolored lighting effects, 
water reflections, and weather like 
fog and snow (in which Lara will 
leave footprints). 

Fans of DESCENT will likely 
enjoy the hoverbike-riding, laser- 
blasting action of FORSAKEN. 
Gamers speed through twisting, 
enemy-loaded tunnels in a truly 
3D world, where passages are just 
as likely to be over your head as 


to either side. While the 
game will run without a 
3D accelerator, you need 
one to truly enjoy the 
breathtaking graphics. 
Incredible lighting 
effects and searing 
explosions distinguish 
this title. This is an ideal 
gift for anyone getting a 
Voodoo^ card this year. 

UNREAL is easily the 
most beautiful first- 
person shooter in some 
time, topping even 
QUAKE II when it comes 
to glittering eye candy. 
The unique, imaginatively 
designed alien worlds are 


Stocking Sf 


S potlighting a 20-year-o!d CD in a maga- 
z\ 


Fzine so obsessed with bleeding-edge tech- 
nology may seem strange, but Iggy Pop is the 
perfect thing to listen to while playing QUAKE II and ^ 
the like. Songs like 
"Gimme Danger" and 
"Search and Destroy" prove 
Iggy was gibbing Iron 
Maidens long before id digi- 
tized them. Pop it into your 
CD-ROM drive and go to 
town with that rail gun. 


engrossing and 
populated with 
tough monsters. 

QUAKE II loyalists 
will enjoy the QUAKE 
II: GROUND ZERO 
expansion pack. 
Designed by Rogue 
Entertainment, the 
geniuses behind the 
QUAKE mission pack 
DISSOLUTION OF 
ETERNITY, this CD- 
ROM is packed with 
14 diabolical new 
single-player levels, 10 
new DeathMatch lev- 
els, and loads of new 
weapons, power-ups, 
and monsters — all the 
things that make deal- 
ing death fun. 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD « DECEMBER 1998 


^.computcrgaming.c 






iri^ STORES m octoberi 




UNLEASH THE MAGIC 


Cali our new Rage of Mages WindOWS^95\98 

Hint Line: 1-900-CALL-LITH Rn-linM 


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Go to #1 44 @ www.cotnputergaming.com/infolink 




1. KING'S C 


tmssEnmm 


Windows 95 CD-ROM, S49.95 
Sierra On-Line, (425) 649-9800 

www.sierra.com 


WE'VE BEEN ANTICIPATING 

the eighth game in Sierra's iong- 
running KING'S QUEST series for 
close to two years now and, hon- 
estly, we've spent most of that 
time being skeptical about it. But 
now that we've actually played 
the game, we are willing to pub- 
licly eat crow and say, with assur- 
ance, that KING'S QUEST; MASK OF 
ETERNITY is the adventure game 
we most want to play this holi- 
day season. 

Veteran designer Roberta 
Williams, who goes all the way 
back with the Sierra series to 
KING'S QUEST I in 1984, is again at 
the helm, and there clearly was no 
reason to doubt her sure hand. As 
promised, Williams has taken this 
game in a completely new direc- 
tion, while adroitly preserving the 
spirit of the series. It's a remark- 
able achievement. 



are willing to publicly eat crow and say, with 
assurance, that KING'S QUEST: MASK OF ETERNITY is the 
adventure game we most want to play this holiday season. 



KING'S QUEST: MASK OF 
ETERNITY once again takes 
place in the kingdom of 
Daventry, and as before, 
you embark on a heroic 
quest to save the land. But 
that's about all this game 
shares with the past. 

Williams' story is set in 
a completely 3D world, 
with an engine as powerful 
and robust as that of any 
current-generation action 
game. Really. Connor, your 
character, travels the beau- 
tifully designed levels in 
the game from either a 
third- or first-person 


perspective. You will have to 
engage in combat now (part of 
our early skepticism), but the cool 
thing is that it's not only scalable, 
it's actually fun, too. 

The greatest thing about the 
game, however, stems from the 
fact that despite the radical 
changes it's still an adventure 
game at heart. A real one. based 
on puzzle-solving, in which the 
only way to succeed is by using 
your brain. 

We've bemoaned the death of 
the adventure game all year. With 
KING'S QUEST: MASK OF ETERNITY, 
Sierra — appropriately enough — 
has given the genre new life. 


Ok COMPUTER GAMING WORLD ■ DECEMBER 1998 


i^.compiitergaming.c 



THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 





2. GRIM FAMDAM60 


an object that you can interact 
with. The bottom line on this one 
is simple; It's a LucasArts adven- 
ture game. We want it. 


3. SANITARIUM 


Windows 95 CD-ROM, 549.95 
ASC Games, (203) 327-3366 
www.ascgames.com 

JT MAY NOT BE THE 

cheeriest holiday gift in the world, 
but this dark, disturbing adventure 
game, designed by Dreamforge 
Intertainment, came out of 


nowhere earlier this year and 
totally blew us away. 

Unlike Sierra's KING'S QUEST and 
LucasArts' GRIM FANDANGO, 
SANITARIUM breaks no new ground 
graphically, but that doesn’t mat- 
ter. What sets SANITARIUM apart is 
its skillful storytelling, which takes 
a gripping plot and plays it out in 
a way that remains utterly unpre- 
dictable and unsettling until the 
very end. 

The game puts you in the role 
of a man who wakes up in an 
insane asylum, unable to remem- 
ber who he is or how he got 
there. As you attempt to discover 
your identity, you'll embark on a 
metaphysical mystery over a series 
of surreal levels that will leave 
you constantly questioning 
whether what you're seeing is 
"real" or not. Are you experienc- 
ing these horrors, or are they the 
fevered dreams of a madman — or 
both? If they are just dreams, 
what do they mean? These ques- 
tions will keep you glued to your 
computer screen. 

The game's isometric perspec- 
tive and traditional puzzle-solving 
gameplay are decidedly old- 
school, but they work well, and 
the puzzles (for the most part) are 
brilliantly Integrated into the 
storyline. SANITARIUM is the dark- 
est, most disturbing, and — in 
terms of plot — most memorable 
adventure of the year. A perfect 
gift for those long winter nights. 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM. STBA 
LucasArts, (888) LEC-GAMES 

www.lucasarts.com 

WE'VE WRITTEN ABOUT 

the latest comic adventure from 
LucasArts several times now, and 
what can we say? We still can't 
wait to play it. As most gamers 


know by now, GRIM FANDANGO is 
an all-3D adventure game based 
on Mexican folklore and set in the 
Land of the Dead. You play the 
role of world-weary dead man 
Manny Calavera, a skeletal inhabi- 
tant trapped in the Land of the 
Dead. He's anxious to get out and 
commits a desperate act that 
plunges him into a web of intrigue 
straight out of Double Indemnity 
and any number of other classic 


noir movies. The game 
was designed and writ- 
ten by Tim Schafer — the 
brain behind LucasArts' 

DAY OF THE TENTACLE 
and FULL THROTTLE— 
and despite the grim- 
sounding subject matter, 
you can expect the 
script to be chock-full of 
the same 
smart-alecky 
comic genius 
found in those 
games. 

What is 
totally differ- 
ent this time 
around is the 
game's look. Like Sierra, 
LucasArts has (at least 
temporarily) abandoned 
its long-standing 2D graphics 
engine for an entirely new 3D one. 
Gone is the much-loved SCUMM 
engine in favor of one that lets 
you physically maneuver your 
character through the world (even 
with a gamepad). The gameplay is 
the same as it ever was, just a bit 
more dynamic: Instead of clicking 
around the screen for hotspots, for 
example, Manny will physically 
turn his head when he walks by 


v.computergaming.c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD ■ DECEMBER 1998 








To those who always wanted to rule the world - 

stop thinning so small: 

■ Introducing Star Trek: The Next Generation^ Birth of the Federation,'" the first PC strategy 



game to put you in the center of the vast STAR Trek? universe. Control one of five alliances, 


each with its own agenda: the diplomatic Federation,™ the stealthy Romulans,™ the warrior 


Klingons,™ the entrepreneurial Ferengis” and the ruthlessly efficient Cardassians.” 


Command over 


50 authentic 3-0 starships. Engage in ultra -realistic 3-D combat. Explore black holes. 


worm holes — every corner of space. Up to five players can compete via LAN, modem 


or over the Internet. Think you've got whafit takes to rule the universe? Make it so. 







THEnEXTEEnEH^Tian 


BIRTHS FEDERATmiM. 


j) 1 998 MicroProse, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Star Trek: The Next Generation"* ® & © ] 998 


Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved. Star Trek and related morks are trademarks of Poramount 

Pictures. MicroProse is a registered trademark of MicroProse, Inc. or its afhlioted companies. *• \ 

* Go to #223 @ www.computergaming.com/InfolInk 


.^,^^PR06E. 

yuwv.microprose.com 


THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 


4jTHEBlACKST0NE 

CHRONICLES 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, 559.95 
Legend/Mindscape, (703) 222-8515 

www.legendent.com 


ONE OF THE FEW GOOD 

things that came about while 
Random House owned Legend 
Entertainment was that the big 
publisher arranged for acclaimed 
adventure-game designer Bob 
Bates to meet horror novelist John 
Saul. Some three years later, after a 
series of best-selling books and a 




5. REDGUARD 


Windows 95 CD-ROM, 549.99 
Bethesda Softworks, (301) 926-8300 

www.bethsoft.com 


TV miniseries, we finally get to play 
the game on which all of this is 
based. The MYST crowd will swoon 
over the pretty pictures. And seri- 
ous adventure gamers should be 
happy that they have a creepy, 
cerebral, psychological thriller. The 
game is based on some of the 
more unsavory aspects of mental 
health hospitals. 


THE NEXT ELDER SCROLLS 

game from Bethesda Softworks is 
not the sequel to DAG6ERFALL 
(which is still a ways ofO. In- 
stead, it's an adventure game 
that attempts to tell a smaller 
story in the world ofTamriel. 

Like MASK OF ETERNITY, 
REDGUARD is a 3D game that 
combines elements of action and 
adventure while focusing strongly 
on plot and character interaction. 
The game's look is, mercifully, 
light years beyond that of 
DAGGERFALL. And the plot— much 
more tightly focused than the 
miasma that was DAGGERFALL — 
should serve to keep adventure 
gamers enthralled. 




Stocking 
Stuffer 


T he hallmark of any great adven- 
ture game is its story, so why not 
get the adventure gamer in your 
life some actual books? John 
Saul's creepy six-volume, 
serialized novel 
The Blackstone 
Chron/c/esis available 
in a collected set for 
SI 4.95 from Random House. 
For an even creepier, more cerebral 
reading experience reminiscent of 
SANITARIUM, check out Haruki Murakami's 
unforgettable cult classic, Hard-Boiled 
l/l/onder/and and the End of the World (S13, 
Vintage International). 


'.v.. . . . '‘liSaaBaunu:. 

iOther Adventures 


f we had a sixth spot on 
either this list or the RPG 
list, we would have definite- 
ly included QUEST FOR GLORY 
V: DRAGON FIRE. The fifth 
game in Sierra's beloved, 
long-running adventure/RPG 
series has been in develop- 
ment forever, but at last It's 
almost complete. It's a 
great-looking game that 
wilt surprise a lot of people. 

REDJACK: REVENGE OF THE 
BRETHREN is the latest 
adventure from CyberFlix, 
which hit it big in a weird 


way when a year-old game 
of theirs unexpectedly 
popped back up on tiie 
charts. The game? TITANIC. 
This time they tackle pirates 
in a traditional old school- 
style adventure. 

It's no secret that we're 
not the world's biggest 
RIVEN fans, but far be it 
from us to be so Scrooge- 
like as to not recommend it 
for the holidays. For the 
early adopter in your life, 
it's also now available on 
DVD, as is Broderbund's 
JOURNEYMAN PROJEG 3: 
LEGACY OF TIME. 


A COMPUTER GAMING WORLD • DECEMBER 1998 


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0 YEARS OF 


Go to #280 @ www.computergaming.com/infolmk 


1. MIGHT AND MAGIC VI 



tive gameplay. Months after its 
release, most of us are still playing 
this game, still trying to conquer 
the tougher denizens of Enroth 
and still not bored or sick of it all. 
Why? Because like all of the games 


MIGHT AND MAGIC VI, through crafty design, manages to 
provide hundreds of hours of gamepiay while never feeling 
out-of-control and unmanageable the way DAGGERFALL does. 



associated with New World Com- 
puting's MIGHT AND MAGIC fran- 
chise, MIGHT AND MAGIC VI. 
through crafty design, manages to 
provide hundreds of hours of 
gameplay while never feeling out- 
of-control and unmanageable the 
way DAGGERFALL does. 

While remaining utterly faithful 
to the series' spirit, the game 
stands as a serious improvement 
over the previous entries in every 
way. It sports a deeper spell book, 
a better experience and skill model, 
and a real-time/turn-based toggle 
that keeps you moving at a brisk 
pace yet lets you slow down for 
strategic thinking during combat. 


The 3D graphics won't get mis- 
taken for UNREAL, but they're quite 
good and don't require an acceler- 
ator card. Extra touches — such as 
a doth map, hidden dungeons, and 
undocumented item enchant- 
ments — speak to the overwhelm- 
ing generosity put into this game. 

Yes, the storyline is minimal at 
best, the NPCs are annoying and 
mostly useless, and some of the 
dungeon combat is painfully 
tedious, but these are small marks 
against a gigantic gift of an RPG. 

If there’s a role-playing fan in your 
life who hasn't played this yet, 
MIGHT AND MAGIC VI is the num- 
ber one holiday pick. 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD « DECEMBER 1998 


/.computtTgjming.c 



THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 



2 . BALDUR'S GATE 


recent experience with the beta 
shows the payoff. The graphics — 
from the gameworld's isometric 
view to the meticulously designed 
interface, screens, and character 
portraits — are detailed and evoca- 
tive, Combat is real-time, but a 
strict adherence to AD&D rules 
ensures that it's more than a click- 
fest. The well-designed interface 
simultaneously balances tons of 
options while keeping everything 
simple and intuitive. 

RPG of the year or another 
AD&D letdown? We can't yet say 
for sure, but we know which way 
we're leaning. 


races, classes, and alignments). But 
you'll end up with a party of up to 
five other characters. 

Bioware, the game's developer, 
has been working obsessively on 
this game for years, and our 


Windows 95 CD-ROM, STBA 
Interplay Productions, 

(949) 553-6655 

www.interplay.com 


BALDUR'S GATE IS THE 

most anticipated RPG of the year, 
and it should be out by the time 
you read this. If it holds up to 
everything we've seen so far, it 
just might move up a notch when 
we get to our end-of-the-year 
rankings. BALDUR'S GATE is a 
hugely ambitious five-CD game 
set in the Advanced Dungeons 
and Dragons' ?orgotXer\ Realms 
world. Not only is it the first 
AD&D computer game in years to 
even have a chance of not totally 
sucking, but it also has the mak- 
ings of a classic. 

Both a single- and multiplayer 
game, BALDUR'S GATE takes place 
along the Forgotten Realms' Sword 
Coast, where an iron shortage sets 
in motion a series of events that 
will take you from your quiet castle 
life out on to 

a — what else? — epic heroic quest. 
You begin the game as a single 
character (which you'll generate 
using any of the classic AD&D 


I'.computergaming.c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD ■ DECEMBER 1998 




Behind you lie the gntes to the stronghold of New Jollis, the 
Inrgest city in nil of South Vormis. iJou stnnd in the ceritml ;; 
Qunrter before the legendnry Big Rocs’ Cnfe. The Duke 
hHS decinred n stnte of mnrtinl inw untii the brignnds 
thnt hnve been terrorizing his innds nre defeated. ; 
Grent riches nnd fnme nwnit the heroes thnt 5 
succeed, nnd their names shaii be n 
sung by troubadours 
throughout 
the iand. 


Adventure and Giory 
await you in this Radicai 
New Oniine Roie-piaying Game. 

• Over 200 Race/Ciass combinations 

Scores of shops with thousands of items 

intricate piot lines, not just hack and siash 

character sees in a 3D worid 

speiis that you can niter to 
suit your needs 



THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 





experiences and a different style of 
gameplay will find the richest and 
most emotionally affecting story of 
the year in FINAL FANTASY VII. 


4. FALLOUT 2 


Windows 95 CD-ROM, STBA 
Interplay Productions, 

(949) 553-6655 
www.interplay.com 

FALLOUT 2 IS DEFINITELY 

a case of "more of the same." But 
since the original was the best 
role-playing game in years, that's 
not necessarily a bad thing. The 
sequel to our 1 997 RPG of the 
Year, FALLOUT 2, returns you to a 
postapocalyptic California, where 
you set off once more on an epic 
quest among mutants, giant scorpi- 
ons, and other irradiated 
Californians, Interplay has been 
awfully quiet about this one since 
the abrupt departure of designer 
Tim Cain; but after playing the 
beta, we're not too worried. 
FALLOUT 2 should retain the origi- 
nal's unique setting, proven game- 
play, and sense of style and humor. 
It's not breaking new ground, but 
it should be a lot of fun. 


3. FINAL FANTASY VII 


m 


THIS FIRST PC PORT OF SQUARESOFT'S 

legendary Japanese console RPG series wasn't quite 
the home run some of us hoped for (it was marred 
by some installation problems and less-than-stellar 
graphics and sound), but it's still a landmark game. 
FINAL FANTASY VII (FFVll) is easily as huge as MIGHT 
AND MAGIC VI, but that's where the similarities end. 
FFVll is more like a movie or novel in which you 
guide a rotating cast of characters through a com- 
plex story filled with acts of heroism, love, heart- 
break, betrayal — and lots and lots 
of combat. 

The game's plot (much too com- 
plicated to describe here) combines 
elements of science fiction, fairy 
tale, and heroic adventure. The 
graphics evoke Japanese animation 
(anime), with an exaggerated, car- 
toony style (in 3D, for which an 
accelerator is recommended but 
not required). The game is far more 
linear than PC role-players are 
used to. The flip side, however, is 
that each character you portray is 
so deep and emotionally complex 
that once you've been playing a 
while, you'll find yourself becoming 
genuinely attached to him — and 
rooting for him — as you continue. 

You need to change your expec- 
tations for a game like FINAL 
FANTASY VII. It is, at root, a console 
game best played with a gamepad 
(there are even some arcade 
sequences to negotiate). But 
RPG fans who are open to new 


Windows 95 CD-ROM, S54.99 
Eidos Interactive, (41 5) 547-1200 

www.eidosinteractive.com 




/.computergaming.c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 




i 


r*] 

Li 



/^'^^W.MtLBO'URNtHO'USLCO'M/KKNO 


download the demo, prove us wrong 


Go to #281 @ www.computergaming.com/infolink 






THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 



BHlMlEIKllia 

Windows 95 CD-ROM, STBA 
Sierra On-Line, 

(425) 649-9800 

www.sierra.com 

WE'VE STOPPED COUNTING 

how many times this game has 
appeared on various C6M/ lists 
over the years, but Raymond E. 


Feist's long- 
delayed sequel 
to the classic 
BETRAYAL AT 
KRONDOR looks 
like it's really, 
truly, finally 
going to ship 
this fall. We're 
giving it one 
more chance. Developed by 
Pyrotechnix, RETURN TO KRONDOR 
tells a brand-new 1 0 chapter story, 
penned by Feist, which is set in the 
fantasy world of Midkemia in a 
time just after the events occurring 
in BETRAYAL Ifs turn-based, it's 
party-based, it's 3D, it's Feist. Now 
we're just waiting for Sierra to say, 
"It's done." 



Stockins,^ 

AD8tD Core Rules 


F aster than a CPU, more powerful 
th 


% 

than thumbing through pages of charts, 

and able to do bookkeeping at the a 
speed of sound, it's.. .role- ^ 
playing utilities! Pen 
and paper RPGers 
should seriously consider 
the Advanced 
Dungeons & Dragons 
Core Rules 2.0, a tremen- 
dous assist for dungeon mas- 
ters with its encounter pro- 
gram, NPC generator, and cam- 
paign and scenario map editor. 

This year's version is terrific 
for gamers who want to 
play online or link maps and encounter documents (S54.95, 
www.tsrinc.com}. Superhero gamers should also check out the new 
Creation Workshop (two floppies), which lets you aeate characters 
for several game systems (S30, www.herogames.com). 



other RPGS 

T here are a ton of other 
RPGs on the horizon in this 
newly revived genre, so plan 
on sharpening your sword and 
pulverizing your enemies for 
many months to come. 

KEXPLORE. from Infogrames, 
is 3 big, retro-looking RPG 
with a GAUNTLET/DIABLO fee!— 
which means lots of head- 
bashing and treasure-looting. 
Its look is a little dated, but 
the game's easy to get into, 
and has a nice sense of humor. 
See our full review in next 
month's CCW. 

RAGE OF MAGES is a dark, 
detailed Russian import with a 


unique "mission-based" struc- 
ture. We'll have a review on 
this next month as well. 

If budget is a concern, and 
you don't mind venturing into 
the land of the really old- 
school, then you can't do 
much better than Jeff Vogel's 
award-winning shareware 
RPG, BLADES OF EXILE, which 
offers tons of gamepiay and 
a scenario editor (www. 
spidweb.com). 

In the way distant-future 
department, there are a num- 
ber of exciting announcements. . 

Interplay is following up 
BALDUR'S GATE with an AD&D . 
game that looks to be at least 
as epic as that game, if not 


more so. PlANESCAPE; TORMENT 
is being developed by Zeb 
Cook, the man who created the 
Planescape universe for T5R, 
along with Colin McComb, 
another TSR refugee. The game, 
built on the BALDUR'S GATE 
engine, is still way off— but 
look for a big sneak preview in 
an upcoming C6W. 

As we went to press, two 
new RPGS were announced 
based on popular pen-and- 
paper games from White Wolf 
Game Studios. The first, ASC 
Games' WEREWOLF: The 
APOCALYPSE, sounds awesome, 
but it's at least a full year 
away. Developed by 
Oreamforge Intertainment 


(makers of SANITARIUM) and 
using the UNREAL engine, 
WEREWOLF will take you from 
London to Greece in an 
action/RPG that plunges you 
into the heart of a war 
between the Garou (the good) 
and the Wyrm (the bad) were- 
wolves in White Wolf's dark 
universe. The second game is 
VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE, 
published by Activision and 
developed by Nihilistic 
Software, a very strong look- 
ing startup with talented 
refugees from LucasArts, 
Rogue and more. For fans of 
White Wolf's games, 1999 is 
looking like a landmark year 
for PC games. 


A 


v.compulergaming.c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD ■ DECEMBER 1998 


Discovery consists of seeing 




what everybody has seen 




Albert Szent-Gyorgyi 


The Future is in Your Hands 

Lead an empire from primitive beginnings 
into the stunning sci-fi future of 3000 AD. 
Every decision you make has repercussions 
on your future world. Will you rule a grim, 
industrial jungle or a utopian society? 


Not All Wars are Fou^t on the Battlefield 

Add to your lethal military might with uncon- 
ventional types of warfare, such as economic 
attacks or religious conversion. A variety of 
units, buildings, governments, wonders, and 
research options are at your disposal, 


Discover Who Among Your Friends Wili Rule 

Go head-to-head in multiplayer world-building. 
But remember - in war, even friends can 
become enemies. A nanovirus you release 
in one opponent’s city may spread to others, 
leading you into a war with an unintended parly. 


Clvilizntion; Call lo Power '0 1998 Aclivision. Inc. Activision is o tejiisterc-d traOemarH and Call to Pov/er is a trademark ot Activision, Inc. CIVILIZATION computor gairies O 1991- 199B 
MicroProse Software, inc. CIVILIZATION Is a trademiifk or registered Iradetnark of MicroProse, Irtc. or its affilioiod companies. 

Tims proOuct is made and sold undei license from MicroProse. An ngfns reserved. All other irudemarks and trade names are tfie properties o( tficir tespocUve owim.ts. 



CIVILIZATION . 

CALL TO POWER' 


WWW. acti vision, com 


Go to #1 45 @ www.computergaming.com/infolink 








Earlh We follow the precepts of our father. His law is dear; Use no magic when steel and muscle will suffice, or disaster and chaos will follow, We keep the law. Our armies enforce it. 



H onor, vengeance. 

HOPE. TERROR. 

Four Kingdoms, four 
creeds. Four immorlal 
siblings have fought for 1 500 
years to rule the land of 
Darien. But one of the rivals 
discovers an ancient artifact, 
and it shatters the balance of power overnight. Massive armies collide. 
Supernatural forces level entire cities. Chaos destroys the land and 
the stability of the universe is shaken forever. 



Features 

• Four unique sides with different build hierarchies 

• Hardware support for improved graphics and special effects 

• Rich, in-depth story and character development 

• Physical changes in veteran units 

• Lay siege to castles and cities 

■ Non-player humans, wandering monsters and life forms 

• Pre-buill multiplayer bases and/or units 

• Multiplayer missions & varied victory conditions 

• Switchable radar/main map view 

• Custom keyboard mapping 

• Multiplayer capabilities over LAN, TCP/IP, modem and Internet. 


Wind ^ Time has forgotten us and we have forgotten time. Our city i.s the fore.st. Our road is the wind. Those who visit our shores uninvited will perish. 











iSSSS?-! 











Wc seek ihe unknown. We fiml knowlcdj^c and power hidden from ordinary minds. Through skill and study, we will attain the impossible and the world will tremble. 


Four powerful siblings. 

A vanished monarch. 

One massive realm. 

The epic quest to control it all begins this March. 




I 







1 .CREATURES 2 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, S39.95 
Mindscape, {800) 234-3088 

www.mindscape.com 


IT'S BEEN A ROUGH YEAR 

for classics/puzzle fans, who 
could very well find a lump of 


coal in their stocking, because of 
the vast amount of shovelware 
out there. Oddly enough, it's not 
a whole new product but rather 
a sequel that will shine most 
brightly when unwrapped this 
Christmas morning. CREATURES 2 
is not merely an improvement 
in almost every way from the 


original, it's perhaps the best 
pure A1 simulation ever made. 


That it's a really fun game as 
well is all the more amazing. 

The Norns you raise from birth 
are more charming, more loqua- 
cious, more clever — their capacity 
for learning is supposedly 
improved by 85 percent — and 
much more addictive than in the 
original. You'll find yourself 
chuckling for hours over the more 
than 100 different Nornian facial 
expressions, and, like any parent, 
you'll drive yourself nuts trying to 
figure out which of your Norn's 
15 digestive fluids is out of sorts 
when he or she is sick. 

The world in which your Norns 
romp and play here is more than 
twice the size of the gameworld 


in CREATURES, with extensive 
ecosystem modeling. Still, you'll 
find it far easier to navigate in 
the sequel, because of its new, 
improved interface. 

As puzzle games go, 
CREATURES 2 requires a fairly 
powerful machine: You won't 
need to invest in a Voodoo card, 
but that old 486 that runs YOU 
DON'T KNOW JACK just fine isn't 
going to cut it here. 

The game isn't perfect, and 
some of the information avail- 
able borders on overkill. Then 
again, one of the best things 
about CREATURES 2 is that the 
game can be enjoyed on a num- 
ber of levels. 


Like any parent, you'll drive yourself nuts trying 
to figure out which of your Norn's 15 digestive 
fluids is out of sorts when he or she is sick. 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


I'.computergaming.t 




THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 


•aE: :w 





2 . 5TRATEG0 


lot of different maps and cool sol- 
diers from which to choose (one 
of them is a dead ringer for our 
managing editor when we're late 
with an article, complete with 
epaulets). Everything else is as 
you'd expect, complete with spies 
to take out the enemy's marshal, 
scouts to find out real values of 
hidden units, and miners to defuse 
those annoying bombs. 


SjSMARl^AjVjK 

CHALLHiGnT" 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, 539.95 
Smart Games/Hasbro, (508) 921-3700 

www.hasbro.com 

EVEN THOUGH MOST OF 

us have trouble resisting the New 
York Times Crossword (or even 


Meteor Mayhem is a good 
example of Smart Games' unique 
style; it's the first asteroid game 
that relies on brainpower rather 
than reflexes. Rock, Paper. 

Scissors derives a clever logical 
conundrum from the old school- 
yard game. And even a wargamer 
might touch his inner shepherd by 
guiding a flock across a hexagonal 
grid in Sheep Dog. 

As if the fresh gameplay 
weren't enough, Smart Games 
(now part of Hasbro) has finally 
pushed the graphics and anima- 
tion up several notches, so you 
don't have to feel guilty when 
you're playing it on the plane. And 
you can leave the lame airline 
crossword to the guy drinking all 
the little bottles of cheap booze. 


the poor imitations found in most 
local newspapers), literal transla- 
tions of these to the PC have 
managed to redefine tedium. 

Enter Smart Games, a small New 
England company that found new 
ways of producing brainteasers 
that worked /better on a computer. 
Although the Smart Games folks 
have occasionally strayed into 
small puzzle niches, they've gener- 
ally stayed with a winning mix of 
different teasers. As a result, 

SMART GAMES CHALLENGE #3 
features 20 all-new puzzle types, 
including word problems, some 
action-oriented puzzles for TETRIS 
lovers, a few traditional puzzles, 
and our favorites — puzzles that 
you must solve through sound 
cues and nonlinear thinking. 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, 539.95 
Hasbro Interactive, (508) 921-3700 

www.hasbro.com 


BACK IN THE 1960S, 

Stratego was a very popular family 
game-remember that agent 
Mulder's sister, Samantha, was 
abducted (or not) while the two 
children were playing this very 
boardgame — in large part because 
it took a lot less time than 
Monopoly or Risk. Since then, par- 
lor games on the PC have scored a 
few hits and a lot of misses. 

One reason we like STRATEGO is 
that it doesn’t try to fake being 


either a real-time strategy game, 
as BATTLESHIP did, or a bizarre 
simulation of rolling dice from a 
simulated cup, as the horrific 
YAHTZEE did. It simply re-creates 
the parlor classic with a few cool 
options that you'd have tried on 
the boardgame if only you could 
have molded those darn plastic 
pieces yourself. 

For instance, STRATEGO lets you 
and a buddy team up to take on 
the computer or two of your office 
mates over the LAN or Internet. 
And with a turn-based game, 
there's not a lot of lag to go 
around. As with RISK, there are a 








/.compulergaming.c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 





THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 



4. Gubble II 


Windows 95 CD-ROM, $39.95 
Actual Entertainment, (888) 228-8251 

www.actualentertainment.com 

WE'LL ADMIT IT; WE 

weren't that thrilled with the first 
GUBBLE. This time, however, 

Gubble D. Gleep seems more cute 
than annoying, and he actually has 
legs. Instead of being trapped in 
his space pod, Gubble can 
now run, jump, duck, and fly, 
which allows for 
some variety 
when you 
explore the 
more than 100 new 
levels (including a few 
hidden bonus lev- 
els). Gameplay is 
pretty similar to 
the first 
game — you 
help Gubble 
fit screws into 
screwdrivers and 


fit drills into rivets — but the puz- 
zles are more intricate. Plus, being 
able to transform into a ball or use 
decoy Gobbles tends to elicit a 
chuckle or two. 


SjDOrmoUCH 

THAToiA^^™ 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM. $39.95 
Berkeley Sysiems/Sierra, ((800) 757-7707 

www.sierra.com 

NO, THIS ISN'T 

YOU DON'T KNOW 
JACK 3.5; it's more 
like JACK TV 2 on 
speed. If you can 
remember the 
words to "Plop, 
Plop, Fizz, Fizz'' 
or that some ad exec 
in the 1970s thought 
you could convince 
people that relief is 
spelled R-O-L-A-l-D-S, you'll 
do well at this game. We 
laughed at a few of the 







F or the holidays, try some boardgames from the appro- 
priately named Cheapass Games. This company spe- 
cializes in off-the-wali topics such as Kill Doctor Lucky 
(all of the fun missing from Clue), Parts Unknown (sell- 
ing body parts to Dr. Frankenstein and his competitors), 
and Lord of the Fries (you're a zombie grill cook in 
Hell). The games often require you to use plastic pieces or 
dice from your Monopo/y set, but these games are such a 
riot that it's well worth the trouble. S5-6 per game; 
Cheapass Games, (206) 324-6728; www.cheapass.com 


questions in the demo, but be 
warned: This is the first product in 
this style that Berkeley is publish- 
ing without Jellyvision’s design 


talents. While some will laugh 
uncontrollably, others may find this 
to be the biggest one-joke affair 
since Magic Johnson's talk show. 



B efore you ask whether we 
need another cness game 
for the PC keep in mind that 
CHESSMA5TER 6000 should 
again offer the best mix Of. 
granamaster-styled computer 
opponents anywhere, with 
improved graphics and mufti- 
play mode. Other sequels find 
Berkeley and jellyvision- 
teaming again for YOU DON'T 
KNOW JACK 4, and Psygnosis 
trying to recapture the 


essence of the original with 
SENTINEL RETURNS (complete 
with musk from John 
Carpenter). Disney's THE D- 
SHOWioffers family fun for 
the JACK crowd, while Hasbro 
counters with THE GAME OF 
LIFE (which looks better than 
we, expecteid)ijHasbro alsd-- 
tries to improve on earlier 
disasters with new versions 
of JEOPARDY, WHEEL OF 
FORTUNE, and TRIVIAL PURSUIT * ' 
expected for Christmas. And 
what shopping list would be 
complete this year without 
MONOPOLY WORLD CUP '98? 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


v.computergaming.{ 







screams 

and chills of 
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Try it on a Pentium n 


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out the Intel software showcase at: [~t»- www.SoflwareForPCs.com | ThcConipiiicr lnsidc.’“ 






i , «.=,A V„ I il Vengeance is a discipline. To taste 

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the knife-edge nuances of trickery. Over 30 weapons. The Phantom Edge. The Living Flame. And the 
Vampire Staff. And 32 simultaneous multiplayer action. Time to take off the kid gloves and put on the 
spiked ones. , . . .. 


Vengeance is an odyssey, in a dazzling 3D world 

that dwarfs, everything except the bitterness in your heart, you are . ^1^*7 

bound to undertake an epic voyage of discovery. Vast keeps. Cold crypts. More than 
30 enemies. Incredible colored lighting. Insane particle FX. Pure immersion. 


ilV ^ „. msQ . Vengeance is a revelation. Blood will have blood, 

but only the living will uncover their own black secrets. 3 burning souls. 3 unique paths. 3 games in one. 
3 golden chances to make the bastards pay. 


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I Available at your local retail store 

Order direct at store.gtinteractive.com or call 1-800-610-GTIS. 

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The most anticipated RPG of the year. 


In the FORGOTTEN REALMS®, we've lived through foul pestilence, 
vicious battles, exorbitant taxes, and even the occasional dragon. But 
when HE showed up, things really started getting ugly. 

Prepare to be immened into a world of intrigue and mystery on a 
perilous quest to rescue a storied land from impending war. Even your 
own soul is at stake as you and a party of adventurers become entangled in 
a dangerous riddle of betrayed alliances, dark prophecies and murder. 

Will you become the unlikely hero of the story, or merely another of its 
unfortunate casualties? Before you answer, the big guy here might have 
something to say about it. 

Explore an immense, intricate game world ' from cloud-covered 
mountains & rain drenched plains to dark catacombs & abandoned 
temples - all meticulously rendered in lush, i6-bit SVGA graphics. 

Invoke more than too spells - Freeze enemies with an icy blast 
from a Cone of Cold, or incinerate them with a searing stream of 
magial flame. 

Push your leadership skills to the limit as you guide a party of up 
to six characters, each with a personality that affects gameplay. 
Don't let your stubborn fighter pummel the arrogant thief - you 
may need their teamwork in your next battle. 

Create your character from six AD&D® races and 26 different 
classes and subclasses. You control every attribute, down to skin 
and hair color, weapons, and armor - all accurately depicted on-screen. 






lirGAMFJU.FORGA.\IKRS.-- .1 DunM%n««<c ' 

WWW, inlerplay.com oi — 

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me liademarkof BloWare Corp. All rights reserved. Exclusively licensed and distribuled By Interplay Productions. All olhereopyrighB end Uadematte 

Go to #163 @ www.computergamlng.com/infollnk 







IT'S A VERY, VERY HAPPY 

holiday for the World War II flight- 
sim fan. After a number of years 
of just getting switches and coal 
in their stockings, wanna-be WWII 
pilots this year have a number of 
entries to put on their list. For the 
pilot who's also going to find a 
hot new Pentium II PC under the 
tree, the top choice is WWII 
FIGHTERS from Jane's Combat 
Simulations. One of the best look- 
ing flight sims yet developed, 
WWII FIGHTERS is the perfect 
showcase for hot new hardware. 

While the game has dazzling 
3D graphics and supports all the 
major 3D card standards, it's not 
all flash and dazzle. Set during 
the Battle of the Ardennes, WWII 
FIGHTERS lets you fly seven 
authentically modeled American, 
German, and British aircraft. 
Flight models are tunable from 


One of the best-looking flight sims yet developed, 

WWII FIGHTERS is the perfect showcase for your computer's 
hot new hardware. 



beginner to expert, and 
the game features stun- 
ningly authentic virtual 
cockpits for each plane. 
The varied supporting 
cast of aircraft includes 
the Heinkel He-1 11, the 
B-17 Flying Fortress, the 
B-26 Marauder (rarely 
seen in sims), and the 
B-24 Liberator, A variety 
of stand-alone and 
campaign missions are 
available, and a mission 
editor lets you create 
your own sorties or 
download new missions 
from the Internet. 


In addition, you'll be able to 
test your mettle against other sim- 
ulation pilots over a LAN or the 
Internet. WWII FIGHTERS will be 
supported on the free Jane's 
Combat.net service, so you should 
always be able to find a foe. 

Multiplayer mode isn't just 
limited to simple deathmatches, 
either. You'll be able to fly with 
and against other human players 
in full-blown missions. For 
instance, the mission for one 
group of human players may be to 
escort a group of B-1 7s while 
another group has to take down 
the bombers. Watch your six, we'll 
be In those skies. 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD « DECEMB6R 1998 


■computeryjaminK 




First, we brought you revolutionary, award-winning, SSO"" 3D action. 




Then, we plunged you into the depths to fight robots that stole your weapons, 
sucked your energy and worked in teams. 


What more could you possibly want? 

^ 




CUNNING 

AGILE ROBOTS 
From bold and brutal to cautious and shy, 
these viraily infected robots use their brains 
as well as their bullets. Robots attack and 


DUAL-ENGINE GAI 


Parallax SoftwareForPCs.« 

Software (1 / 


TURN YaUR Wdrli 


Descent 3: O 1999 Outrage Elnlenainmen!, Inc. All rights reserved. Oulrage, the Outrage logo and Huston Engine are trademarits of Outrage Enlertainmenl. Inc Descent. IntetfSav! tire InlojiiY 


Melding a flight-sim engine with a 
room-based, structural engine allows 
the action to race on at full speed, with 
no interruptions, indoors.. .and out. 



MERCILESS 



BEST MULTIPLAYER 

OUT O F T H E BOX 
Descents aniyes fufly <^timized for Internet play over 
a modem. Remember intuitive simplicity of 
Descent 1 and 2 network play?. Now it’s THAT EASY 
to battle hordes of Descent fanatics around the world. 


TECHNOLOGY 


ogo. Tantrum, the Tantrum iogo, "Bv Gamers. For Gamers, are tiadeinarks of Interplay Productions. AH other copyrights and iradetnarks are the proi^erty of their raspecirve owners. 


TRUE R A D I O S I T Y AND 

SPECULAR LIGHTING 

Now you can lurk in the shadows and sneak up on 
your enemies. Specular and reflective surfaces allow for 
incredible special effects that portray Descent 3 in an all new light. 


P O I. Y G O N A C C U R A T E 

COLLISION DETECTION 

All objects have mass, velocity, moments of inertia, and 
other real-world properties. Blow off a robot’s arm and 
watch it bounce off" a wall and fall to the floor. Launch a missile 
and see your enemies rocked back from the blast impact. 




WEAPONS 

Rxnn the Hame Throve 
to the Black Shade, show 
no mercy as you crush 
enemies, th^ on Are 
and watch them suffer. 



THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 


2. FALCON 4.0 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, 550 
Micfopfose, (510) 864-4550 
www.microprose.com 

EVERY YEAR LITTLE 

Johnny asks for FALCON 4.0 for 
Christmas, and every year Santa 
has to explain that the elves 
aren't through building it yet. 

Will this finally be the year that 
the long-awaited F-1 6 simulation 
finally appears under the tree? It 
appears so, since the program 
has finally entered beta-testing, 
the last stage before it ships. 

Still, given FALCON'S history, we'll 
get little Johnny that Radioactive 
Man action figure, just in case. 

If FALCON 4.0 does make it 
out in time, little Johnny will be 
booting up the most ambitious 
combat flight simulation ever 
designed. Created with the 
assistance of F-1 6 pilot Pete 
Bonnani, FALCON 4.0 promises 
to sport an unprecedented level 
of detail in its cockpit and 
weapons-systems modeling. 
There will be a simplified mode 
for beginners and more casual 
players, of course, but hard- 
core pilots will be able to use 
targeting and weapons 
systems that are among ffi 

the most accurately H 

modeled In a sim. H 

It's FALCON 4.0's ambi- 
tious campaign mode that's 
probably most responsible 
for the simulation's long 
delay. Not only Is this future 
Korean scenario fully 
dynamic — the computer 
generates missions on the j 

fly based on an ongoing air l| 
and ground war — but it can H 
also be played multiplayer. H 

Other gamers can join the 9 

action during deathmatches 9 

and single missions, and '1 

they can also enter a cam- ^ 

paign in progress by connect- 
ing on a LAN or via the 
Internet. Top this off with a 
graphics engine that has seen 
significant enhancements since 



the demo was released earlier 
this year and you have the mak- 
ings of the new king of the hill 
for hard-core combat simulations. 


BjFiGHTERSQUADRON: 

SCREAMINjDEIVIONS 

OVEREUROPE 


Windows 95/98 and Macintosh 
CD-ROM, STBA 
Activision, (310) 255-2000 

www.activi5i0n.com 

IN THE COMPETITIVE 

arena of World War II sims, 
Activision's FIGHTER SQUADRON: 


SCREAMIN' DEMONS OVER 
EUROPE stands out for its amaz- 
ing physics model. The closest 
thing to a fighter I've flown is a 
T-34 trainer, so I can't say that 
the flight models are 100 per- 
cent accurate. But I can say that 
the fee/ is the closest to the real 
thing I've found. The challenge of 
trying to land in a crosswind, the 
slight pitch change when drop- 
ping flaps, the jerk of the plane 
as you cross the slipstream 
behind another fighter — all of 
these feel just like the real thing. 

Created by Eric Parker of 
Parsoft, who was responsible for 
the impressive A-1 0 CUBA, this 


sim exhibits an even more 
impressive damage model 
than that title. Slide In 
behind a B-17, start shoot- 
ing, and watch an elevator 
rip off and start spinning 
toward you. Jink to avoid it 
(it will damage you if you 
collide with it) and start 
shooting at the wing. First 
an engine starts smoking, 
then your tracers make con- 
tact with the fuel tank and 
it explodes, ripping off the 
wing and sending dozens of 
parts plummeting toward 
the ground. Come in too hard 
on landing after your victory and 
you can actually bend your land- 
ing gear. Flalf the fun in this 
game is just watching the myri- 
ad ways that planes can be 
damaged. 

Of course, there's plenty of 
combat here. You can pilot a 
variety of planes, including B- 
17s, Lancasters, Fw-190s, P-38s, 
and Typhoons. In addition to the 
built-in missions — which you 
can fly from the viewpoint of any 
participating plane — FIGHTER 
SQUADRON includes a full- 
fledged editor that will let cre- 
ate your own missions. 



COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1996 


^.fompiitiTgaming.( 







The Next IDimepisiori iri 3ID Realitime Tc4eti£ali ecombat 


www.imagicgames.com 


Shadow Company is a trademark and Interactive Magic is a registered trademark ol Inlaraclive Magic, Inc. All other trailemarks are properly of their respective owners. ©Copyright 1998 Interactive Magic, Inc. All rigJils reserved. 

Go to #173 @ www.computergaming.com/iniolink 






LNOvaWorW 


Your TEAM, is dug in 5 miles west of the extraction point 
Tiie enemy is slowly A Surrounding you. 


You’re down "to your 
last few rounds — 


cold, dog-tired, virounded 
The only easy day 

I was yesterday. 


D E L T A 
F O R C E 

Welcome to Hell> ladies 



A complete arsenal of weapons 
to choose from 


Motion capture technology brings 
characters to life 


;e the enemy over 
unprecedented distances 


A Premiering Toxel Space® 3 graphics terrain 
with 52-bit color 

A Missions developed with the assistance of 
a former U.S. Army Delta Force Officer 


A Play in either 1st or 5rd person 
miles & miles of outdoor environi 

A Over 40 gut-v/renching missions 


fflfr LARGE SCALE MULThPLAY HOW PLAYING ON mawoPlUMl 


N n If A I n R I I! - the art of war 

U V n L U II I 11 www.novatogic.com BOO.BSa.13SS 

C1998 NMlojic, Inc. Vnel Sftacs arc NovsLogic ir« teglslefrt trademarks and 0«la Fttrce, NMWwId and lire An ol War are trademarks ot Nwaldjlt, Inc. •Inlemel service required. Player lesponsiMe lor all appHeaWe Inlernfl lees. NovaUgic reserves the rtghl to ctunge IM terms ol semee alanySmt 

Go to #127 @ www.computergaming.com/intollnk 



THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 



look forward to intense canyon 
dogfights. Many members of the 
sim's development team are active 
lAF pilots, and the missions and 
aircraft performance reflect both 
historical and potential Israeli con- 
flicts. Particularly interesting is the 
ability to jump from plane to plane 
to perform each element of a 
strike. You may start in an F-4 and 
be tasked with taking out air 
defenses, then switch to an F-15 to 
eliminate enemy fighters, and you 
might finally take the stick of an 
F-16 to destroy a nuclear plant. 


6.EUR0PEAM AIR WAR 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, STBA 
MicroProse, (510) 864-4550 
www.microprose.com 

IN THE WORKS FOR 

nearly as long as FALCON 4.0, 
MicroProse's EUROPEAN AIR 
WAR isn't the most technically 


4jM6IVIUmROU 

fulcru!v^^^~ 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, 544.95 
NovaLogic, (800) 858-1322 
www.novalogic.com 

WHILE F-16 MULTIROLE 

FIGHTER and MlG-29 FULCRUM are 
both all-new, full-fledged, stand- 
alone sims, NovaLogic plans to ship 
them bundled together for a lim- 
ited time. The games exhibit a new 
level of realism for NovaLogic — 
due to the fact that the company 
had the assistance of Lockheed- 
Martin and a former Soviet test 
pilot — but they also contain simpli- 
fied radar and targeting systems 
that make them accessible to 
beginners and casual gamers. 

Both sims feature stunning 3Dfx 
graphics, active virtual cockpits, 
and full-blown mission editors. 
Since two of the five campaigns 
are shared between the games, 
you can fly them from the perspec- 
tive of both American and Russian 
pilots. But the biggest appeal here 
is free multiplayer action with 
more than 100 other human pilots 
flying F-16s, MiG-29s, and F-22s 
on NovaLogic's NovaWorld server. 


5. ISRAELI AIR FORCE 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, S59.95 
Jane's Combat Simulations, 

(415) 571-7171 
www.jane5.ea.com 

THE SPIRITUAL SUCCESSOR 

to the series that started with U.S. 

NAVY FIGHTERS and wrapped with 
FIGHTERS ANTHOLOGY, Jane’s 
ISRAELI AIR FORCE closely resembles 
that series in its basic structure. 

Once you're in the sim, though, 
things look and feel quite different. 

The sim sports 3D support and a 
voxel terrain system that offers 
unprecedented elevation detail — 

advanced WWII sim in the pipe- 
line, But what it may lack in pure 
flash it promises to make up for in 
gameplay.This is the only WWII 
sim slated for release this year 
that has a dynamic campaign — 
two, in fact. You can fly for 
England or Germany in the Battle 
of Britain: then you can take to 
the skies as an American pilot in 
the battle over Europe. 

The missions in EAW can 
accommodate up to 256 planes in 
the air simultaneously, so look for 
intense furballs. The game also 
sports instant-action and multi- 
player cooperative play. 




'computergaminp 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 







SPEED KILLS. 

ATI RAGE FURY. So fast, you won’t know 
what hit you. 



© Copyright 1999, ATI Technologies Inc. ATI, RAGE FURY and ATI-TV arc trademarks and/or registered 
trademarks of ATI Technologies Inc. Products may not be cicacdy as shown. 




THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 



7. FLY! 


Windows 95/98 and Macintosh 
CD-ROM, STBA 

Terminal Reality InciGathering of 
Developers, (972) 221-2664 

www.terminaireality.coni 

SO FAR, NOBODY'S BEEN 

able to unseat Microsoft's 
FLIGHT SIMULATOR 98 from its 
throne as king of civilian flight 
sims. But if technical merit really 
affects a game's popularity in 
the market, TRi's FLYI should do 
just that. This sim sports flight 


models created with the assis- 
tance of Cessna, instrument pan- 
els with unprecedented detail, 
and full air-traffic control. The 
satellite-mapped terrain features 
accurate elevation, five major 
cities modeled in detail, and all 
major airports throughout the 
world. TRI is encouraging out- 
side development, so look for a 
variety of add-on aircraft and 
cities to appear. If you're inter- 
ested in learning to fly, check 
this one out. 


AIR WAR 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, S49.95 
DID/Infogrames, (408)289-1200 

www.did.com 

WHILE F22 AIR DOMINANCE 

FIGHTER was arguably the best over- 
all sim of the crop of F-22 simula- 
tions. many fans of DID's EF2000 
simulation were disappointed to find 
that ADF didn't include a dynamic 
campaign engine, like the earlier 
sim. F22 TOTAL AIR WAR, originally 



planned as a dynamic campaign 
add-on, morphed into a full-blown 
new version of the game. In addition 
to numerous graphic improvements 
such as volumetric clouds, the game 
features a full-blown dynamic cam- 
paign designed with the input of 
USAF veterans who actually planned 
strikes during the Gulf War. A SI 5 
rebate coupon will be included for 
owners of F22 ADF. 


9. APACHE-HAVOC 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, S49.95 
Empire Interactive, (800) 216-9706 

www.empire-us.com 

DEVELOPED BY RAZORBACK, 

APACHE-HAVOC lets players expe- 
rience helicopter combat from 
both Western and Russian points 
of view. Designed from the 
ground up for multiplayer games, 
it lets you take the stick of the 
AH-64D Apache Longbow or the 
Mil Mi-28N Havoc in both coop- 
erative and antagonistic mis- 
sions. While the game is accessi- 
ble to casual players — systems 
modeling isn't quite as detailed 
as that of LONGBOW 2— hard- 
core gamers will appreciate the 
fact that the dynamic campaigns 
can be played in multiplayer 
mode. The impressive graphics 
engine includes river valleys, for- 
est lines, and numerous other 
spots that can be used for cover, 
allowing you to use authentic 
helicopter tactics. 


i 


www.computprgaminp. 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD ■ DECEMBER 1998 














THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 


lOCOjVlBft^^^ 
FLIGHT SIMULATOR 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, S54.95 
Microsoft, {800} 426-9400 

www.microsoft.com 

MICROSOFT FINALLY LISTENED 
to user requests and put the guns 
back in FLIGHT SIMULATOR. 
Considering that it's built on the 
FLIGHT SIM engine, COMBAT 
FLIGHT SIMULATOR is an impres- 
sive effort with fast frame-rates 
on 3D card-equipped systems and 


missions based closely on historical 
scenarios. Flight modeling, as you'd 
expect, is top-notch — controls feel 
far less twitchy than they do in the 
civilian sim. An impressive help 
system and a 250-page manual 
should make this sim accessible to 
beginners. The real potential here, 
though, comes from the huge 
third-party FLIGHT SIM support 
network. Since gamers can add 
new planes, new scenery, and new 
missions, this sim could re-create 
virtually any WWII era battle. 



Otheir^^^ 

Holiday Flights 


F rom the looks of things, 
Santa's reindeer are going to 
have to be extra careful this 
holiday season because the fantasy 
skies are going to be crowded with 
combat aircraft from just about 
every era. All these titles are worth 
a look if you're shopping for a 
virtual pilot. 

SSI's LUFTWAFFE COMMANDER 
takes a unique view of WWII air 
combat, letting you fly as a 
German pilot anytime from the 
Spanish Civil War through the fall 
of Germany. Great attention to 
detail has been paid to the flight 
modeling in this historical sim — 
the Iron Cross mode promises to 
be one of the most authentic 
WWII flight models yet. The sim 
would easily be in our Top 1 0, 
except there's a question about 
whether it will ship by Christmas. 
The same goes for SSI's 5U-27 


FLANKER 2.0. which takes all the 
elements that made the original a 
favorite of hard-core sim pilots 
and adds spectacular 3D graphics 
and a less-intimidating flight 
mode for more casual pilots. It's a 
top choice, but it looks like it may 
miss the holiday ship. 

Developed by General 
Simulations, F-1 6 AGGRESSOR is 
the sim to check out if you're 
looking for a sim with an Iron 
fag/e-style action storyline. You're 
a mercenary F-1 6 pilot in this sim, 
which sports an impressive 3D 
engine and realistic flight model- 
ing wrapped around its STRIKE 
COMMANDER-ish storyline. 

A good choice for Tom Cruise 
wanna-bes is MicroProse's TOP 
GUN: HORNET'S NEST, which looks 
much more impressive than the 
version we saw back at this year's 
E3. While it's clearly targeted at 
the action gamer and the inexperi- 
enced flight-sim pilot, the game 
now also features a mode with a 
reality-based flight model. 


stocking i 


What better gift for a wanna-be pilot 
than a chance to fly the real 
thing? Hop on over to 
ivi/iAv.faeap/7of.com and ^ 

sign your favorite PC 
pilot up for a S35 
introductory flight. 

You'll be able to 
print out a 
coupon that your 
gift recipient can take to a 
nearby flight school and get an 
introductory flying lesson for less than 
the price of a single game. 










Chances are your favorite PC pilot is also a bit of an aviation 
nut. If so, what better to decorate his or her computer area 
with than aviation art? Sure, there are beautiful prints avail- 
able depicting actual World War II combat, but we think Hank 
Caruso's Aerocatures prints and calendars best befit the atti- 
tude of the typical flight-sim fan. Imagine a bug-eyed MiG-29 
having its tail munched by an anthropomorphic F-15... Well, 
they’re funnier than they sound. Pick up the calendar for a full 
year of wacky aviation fun. 

Hank Caruso's Aerocatures, (301) 863-9939, 
http://tiger.towson.edu/~acarusl/FF/Aero.htm 


While RED BARON II was disap- 
pointingly buggy, don't overlook 
RED BARON 3D. This updated ver- 
sion sports very realistic flight 
modeling, massive multiplayer 
support, and sharp 3D graphics. 
Best of all, purchasers of the origi- 
nal RED BARON II can get the new 
version free from Sierra. 

If you missed Jane's F-1 5, it's a 
sure pick for your Christmas list. 
The current king of hard-core flight 
simulations, it outclasses all other 
jet sims in its level of systems and 
flight model detail. Also check out 
LONGBOW COLLEQION, which fea- 
tures a 3Dfx-enhanced version of 


special effects and the intriguing 
crew-management gameplay ele- 
ments. Multiplayer fans would 
enjoy a copy of the boxed version 
of WARBIROS under the tree. The 
S30 program doesn't include much 
in the way of offline play, but it 
does include $30 worth of free play 
in the massively multiplayer 
WARBIRDS arena. 

Finally, check out Mission 
Studios' JETFIGHTER: FULL BURN for 
an intriguing blend of action-flight 
sim and WING COMMANDER-style 
storyline. It's not the most techni- 
cally advanced sim out there, but 
it packs a hefty fun factor. 


LONGBOW GOLD 
as well as 
LONGBOW 2, all 
in a single 
package. 

Helicopter 
fans will want to 
check out 
Mindscape's 
TEAM APACHE for 
its impressive 



COMPUTgR GAMING WORLD « DECEMBER 1 998 


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Available on PC CD-ROM. Visit your local retailer 
or call 1-800-695-6AME, day or night, U.S. and Canada. 


enjoy some KLmqon 







"IT'S A GOOD DAY TO DIE" 


Goto #224 @ www.computergaming.com/infolink 





1. IMDEPEWDEWCE WAR 


•Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, $49.95 
' Ocean/Infogrames, (408) 289-1411 

www.independencewar.com 

SPACE SIMS HAVE 

tended to be formulaic over the 
past few years. They have empha- 
sized fast-paced, WWIi-style com- 
bat a la the space scenes in the 
Star Wars movies. Although the 
pickings are still a bit slim (the 
space sim seems to be a niche 
genre), this year the field shows 
considerably more life and variety 
than in recent years. For any 
gamer who remotely enjoys the 
concept of space flight and com- 
bat, the top choice will be 
INDEPENDENCE WAR, brought to 
you by Ocean and developed by 
Particle Systems in England. 

INDEPENDENCE WAR is best 
known for its Newtonian flight 
model. Yes, there have been other 
games that employed such a 
physics model, but they are either 
too old (such as WARHEAD or the 
Elite series) or simply not very 
playable (think MANTIS or the 
MICROSOFT SPACE SIMULATOR). 



INDEPENDENCE WAR features a rock-solid physics modei, allowing you 
to feel the inertia of the 150-meter-iong corvette you command or 
the time-dilation effects when you fly at near-light speed. 



INDEPENDENCE WAR features a 
rock-solid physics model, allowing 
you to feel the inertia of the 1 50- 
meter-long corvette you command 
or the time-dilation effects when 
you fly at near-light speed. 

On top of that solid foundation, 
INDEPENDENCE WAR butids great 
mission design. Instead of run-of- 
the-mill "fly around and kill lots of 
fighters" missions, INDEPENDENCE 
WAR has you laying traps for 
nefarious pirates, finding and 
repairing malfunctioned satellites, 
and catching antimatter bombs, 
among other things. 

In addition, INDEPENDENCE WAR 
utilizes 3Dfx cards to their fullest. 


yielding improved ship exteriors, 
nebulae, missile smoke trails, and 
shielding effects. 

While it may not have multi- 
player action, everything else 
about INDEPENDENCE WAR is first- 
class.The 3D-accelerated graphics, 
the mission design, and the 
physics engine combine to make 
INDEPENDENCE WAR a unique 
space sim after years of clones. No 
other game has managed to cap- 
ture the feel of space combat in 
addition to the feel of command- 
ing a large starship. It's for these 
reasons that INDEPENDENCE WAR 
is the best pick for space-sim fans 
this Christmas. 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


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WiiN a Diamond Monster Sound 
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Inc, RIlual and Sin art trademarki ol Ritual EnletlalninenI, Sin Imitet arc coprrlihlB Ritual Enlailalnmenl. Monitor Sound ii o re|l 
Iter CtkIaC. All trade nimai referenced arc the lenlco mark, liademark, oi legliloied tridemaikt ol Iheli leipective manulacluicci, 

Go to #271 @ www.computergamlng.com/lnfolink 




wor 


®1998 Ripcord Games. ©1996 Micro Forte Pt/. Limited. All Rights 
Reserved. Enmiy Infestotion is o trademark oF Panasonic Interactive 
Medio Company. Clockworki and Micro Forte are Irodemadcs of 
Micro Forte Pty. limited. . ^ 

All other trodemorks ore the property oF their respective companies. 




e in the search for life 
’sQnly one will survive 


Imagine the Earth. Ravaged by 
famine. Unable to sustain life. 


Reliant upon plants and minerals 


harvested on a distant world. 


j Imagine a race of vicious aliens. 
Hurtling through space. 

Desperately searching for nourishment. Willing to stop at nothing to get it. 
Two species. Determined to survive. Two worlds. Destine to collide. 


Get ready for the most intense real-time battle in the universe. Blast your 
way through 5 colonial bases and 50 brain-crunching scenarios-all in 
isometric, retina-frying 3D. 


Choose from 5 different types 
of characters, each with its own 
special function, and a random 
arsenal of weapons. Go it alone 


or team up with your friends 


over the internet. 


If you made it through Starcraft'", it’s time to meet the real enemy. 


Go to #096 @ www.computergamlng.com/infollnk 



E ry 

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For ordering information call 1-888-797-5867. 
Pre-order at your local retailer today! 
www.ripcordgames.coni 







THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 



2. HEAVY GEAR II 


3. STARSIEGE 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM. STBA 
Activision, (310) 255-2000 
wvvw.activision.com 

AFTER LOSING ITS 

Battletech license. Activision 
acquired the Heavy Gear license 
from Dream Pod 9, only to pre- 
miere with the lackluster HEAVY 
GEAR. On the heels of that experi- 
ence, Activision scrapped its aging 
MECHWARRIOR 2 engine and cre- 
ated a whole new 3D-only engine, 
enabling it to redesign HEAVY 
GEAR II from the ground up. 

HEAVY GEAR II uses Activislon's 
new Dark Side engine, which 
allows for much better graphics at 
faster frame-rates compared to 
the previous engine. The terrain is 
true 3D rather than polygons 
slapped on top of each other, but 
you'll need a 3D accelerator card 
as a consequence. You're placed in 
a Special Ops unit behind enemy 
lines, so your missions will vary to 
include stealthily tailing enemy 
convoys and conducting guerrilla- 
style assaults in cities. 

The gameplay for HEAVY GEAR 
II will be quite different from what 
giant robot sim fans are used to. 
Because the Weavy Gear universe 


franchise, and it seems to be back- 
ing up its words with actions. 

The new engine looks several 
orders of magnitude better than 
the company's previous efforts, 
with the Cybrid designs benefiting 
the most. The interface screens 
look promising, the vehicle list is 
quite varied, and the game as a 
whole looks to be a big improve- 
ment over its predecessors. 


models foot soldiers Instead of 
vehicles, the game takes on more 
of a QUAKE-style action feel. Don't 
be fooled by that assess- 
ment though, because even 
though it feels like a first- 
person shooter at times, 
the use of squad tactics 
will make it more complex. 

As the squad leader, you’ll 
be able to use a tactical 
map and command your 
Gears to pull off various 
maneuvers and tactics. 

The game features 40 
single-player and 40 multi- 
player missions, and multi- 
player action will range 
from pure deathmatch to 
squad-versus-squad level 
battles. HEAVY GEAR II 
looks as if it will be a great 
follow-up to Activision's 
MECHWARRIOR legacy. 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, S49.95 
Sierra/Dynamix, (800) 757-7707 

www.sierra.com 

ANYONE WHO HAS SPENT 

any time with EARTHSiEGE and 
EARTHSIEGE 2 might be tempted to 
skip right past this, the third in the 


EarthSiege series. That may not be 
such a good idea, however; 
Dynamix has big plans for this 


As this guide went to press, 
STARSIEGE was in an alpha- 
technology release phase, so we 
haven't yet seen any single- 
player missions, enemy Al, or 
campaign layouts. However, the 
game's producer emphasized 
that his group is committed to 
doing this game right and noted 
that Dynamix and its parent 
company. Sierra, have assured 
him that there will be no 


pressure to release STARSIEGE 
before it's ready. That is probably 
more encouraging than anything 
else we've heard, so be sure to 
keep this title on your radar. If 
the design team manages to pull 
off what they have planned, we 
may have a new contender for 
this genre's throne. We'll keep 
you apprised of STARSlEGE's 
development in upcoming issues 





THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 


4. DE5CEMT: FREE5PACE 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, S49.95 
Interplay, (800) 468-3775 

wvvw.interplay.com 


With an expansion pack soon to 
be available, this is a solid space 
Sim to invest in. 


the time you read this, the GOLD 
EDITION, which includes both the 
original release and SECRET OPS 
(the stand-alone expansion pack 


that was released on the Internet), 
will be available in stores. This 
complete package is a good pick 
for WING COMMANDER fans. 


THE STAR WARS SIMS 

and the Wing Commanc/er games 
have dominated the space-sim 
genre for the past couple of years, 
but that could change with 
DESCENT: FREESPACE, the initial 
entry into the genre by Volition. 
Published by Interplay, this sim is 
still a clone, but it's the best clone 
of the bunch. It effectively com- 
bines aspects of both the Star 
kVars and the Wing Commander 
games to make for an extremely 
playable game. FREESPACE's main 
highlights are the excellent wing- 
men Al, the customizable controls 
and HUD, and the free campaign 
editor to extend its shelf life after 
you finish the main campaign. 


'GOtPEP/nOW 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, S39.95 
Origin, 800-245-4525 
www.origtn.ea.com 

THE AGE-OLD SPACE-SIM 

series makes this list again. This 
title was No. 1 on last year's list, 
and it's still a great WING 
COMMANDER game. It features 
gameplay reminiscent of earlier 
WING COMMANDER games, has 
less annoying FMV, and sports 
some of the most beautiful graph- 
ics ever seen in a space sim. By 





Stocking 

Stutter 


M ost space simmers are 
sci-fi fans, and most 
sci-fi fans are sci-fi 
video fans. So our picks for 
stocking stuffers include 
either the DVD version of 
2001: A Space Odyssey 
or the 13-episode Neon 
Genesis Evangelion 
series (perhaps the best 
sci-fi anime out now, typi- 
cally S25 per tape for the 
subtitled version). Finally, 
Heavy gear fans might like any of the items from 
the Heavy Gear roie-piaying game, such as the 
miniatures or the sourcebooks (at game stores or 
http://www.dp9.com/Products/lndex.htm), 



Other Space 


S25B?! 


nother space-combat 

A sim worthy of note is 
the newly released 
ARES RISING, created by 
members of the original 
PRIVATEER team. Those 
i gamers who never experi- 
enced the original Star Wars 
sims can pick up the X-WING 
COLLEaoRS SERIES, which has 
3D-accelerated versions of 


both X-WING and TIE 
FIGHTER. If you followed 
Derek Smart's saga at all but 
never got the original, you 
might want to check out the 
rereleased (and complete) 
BAHLECRUISER 3000AD put 
out by Interplay. Finally, if 
you're a Star Trekian, you 
should check out KUNGON 
ACADEMY, which is the 
Klingon version of the pre- 
viously released STARFLEET 
ACADEMY. 


'/.computerKiiming.c 


CO/VIPUTER GAMING WORLD « DECEMBER 1996 









rFIFAM/^ 
WORLD CUP 98 


Windows 95 CO-ROM, $49.95 
EA Sports, (650) 571-7171 

www.easports.com 

EVERY FOUR YEARS COMES 

a tournament of truly world-class 
proportions: the World Cup. 
Athletes from every corner of the 
globe gather to sort the best from 
the rest in this, one of the world's 
most encompassing competitions. 
For a company to make a com- 
puter game that fully captures the 
glory and grandeur of World Cup 
soccer is no easy feat. Yet this is 
exactly what EA Sports has done 
with not one, but two titles. 

FIFA ROAD TO WORLD CUP 98 
(FIFA 98) comes from a fine lin- 
eage of soccer titles, it's true, but 
this game does for computer soc- 
cer what Ronaldo does for the 
real thing; It takes the game to a 
new level. FIFA 98 is unmatched 
in terms of gameplay, game 
options, choice of stadiums, 
choice of teams, player and team 



Play FIFA 98 on a high-res monitor with a 3Dfx 
card, and you'll almost be convinced you're 
watching a soccer game on television. 


Team Select 


1 

1 


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^ Spain 

>- 


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>■ 

^ Juoentus ^ 

snooting 

wwwwiv 

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Passing 

wwwww 

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Passing 

Defense 

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customization — the list goes 
on and on. Plus, to say this 
game is beautiful is a tragic 
understatement. Play FIFA 
98 on a high-res monitor 
with a 3Dfx card, and you'll 
almost be convinced you're 
watching a soccer game on 
television. The commentary 
is another area in which 
FIFA 98 excels: Comments 
by UK broadcasters Andy 
Grey and John Motson are 
dead on and always appro- 
priate to the situation. 

WORLD CUP 98 is basically 
FIFA 98, with a marginally 
better A1 and up-to-the- 
minute (as of June 1998) 


rosters for the 1 998 World Cup 
qualifying teams. It's a fantastic 
game, but we'd choose FIFA 98 
for the most variety in terms of 
teams and even entire leagues. 
The designers modeled teams and 
uniforms for 189 clubs in 11 
national leagues — and they 
included accurate rosters for all of 
them! It's all in the details, folks. 

Of course, since FIFA 99 is due 
out any minute, all of this infor- 
mation may be superseded by the 
new game — if EA Sports follows 
its pattern of offering better and 
better titles. Regardless, though, 
definitely include FIFA 98 or 
WORLD CUP 98 on your holiday 
shopping list. 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


iputergaming.c 





THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 


I 





2. MAPDEM NFL 99 


3. VR BASEBALL 2000; 


NEXT GEMERATIOW 


BASEBALL 


given us new hope. Interplay's 
first version of its baseball title 
last year was underwhelming at 
best, so we had no expecta- 
tions this year. But once we got 
our hands on VR BASEBALL 
2000, we were shocked — and 
then sold. First of all, the graph- 
ics have been completely over- 
hauled using Shiny Entertain- 
ment's MESSIAH engine, and the 
result is by far the b^est looking, 
most realistic looking ballplay- 
ers to date, bar none. 

More importantly, of course, 
is how the game plays. And 
again, we were impressed 
beyond all expectations. For 
one, pitcher/batter duels now 
actually make some semblance 
of sense — with Al pitchers and 
hitters acting and reacting as 
you might expect, and user con- 
trolled players being much 
easier to control. Fielding, 
always a huge problem in base- 
ball sims, has been made quite 
functional here, with a sliding 
scale of difficulty. Next year's 
version promises to be even 
better, with the incorporation of 
the DIAMOND MIND BASEBALL 
statistical engine. But for now, 
VR BASEBALL 2000 will provide 
the kind of fun baseball action 
that a host of bigger name titles 
have failed to deliver this year. 


Windows 95 CD-ROM, 549.95 
EA Sports, {650) 571-7171 

www.easports.com 

MADDEN USED TO BE 

the crown jewel in the EA Sports 
empire, but a couple of mediocre 
seasons have put the franchise 
almost into the underdog role. We 
say almost because, lucky for EA, 
there hasn't been much decent 
competition on the PC anyway. 

But that hasn't stopped EA from 
wanting to improve the game. The 
company is now readying the best 
edition of MADDEN in years (it will 


be out as you read this), one that 
we hope to be able to love with- 
out dozens of caveats. First, EA 
Sports (through developer Tiburon 
Software — responsible for last 
year's superior PlayStation ver- 
sion) has finally, belatedly. 


replaced the game's 
2D sprites with a full 
3D polygonal engine. 

This, along with 
player-specific 
motion captures and 
a variety of body 
types, gives the 
game a much more 
real and dynamic 
look than ever 
before. After two 
long, kludgy seasons, 
football action jock- 
eys can finally expect 
the kind of slick 
arcade action avail- 
able in EA's other big 
franchises. For new- 
bies, EA has added a 
"one-button" mode, c 
let players run plays with just one 
gamepad or keyboard button, 
rather than having to memorize a 
whole gamepad worth of key 
combinations. A new franchise 
mode lets you create fantasy 
teams and run them over multiple 
seasons, while team-specific play- 
books and a new play editor aim 
to add the kind of depth and real- 
ism long missing from the fran- 
chise (we used to win games with 
one play, repeated endlessly). With 
its reputation on the line, the 
stakes are high for MADDEN. But 
just as we saw with that creaky 


uiu Livvay ^uy ia:>L 3ca:>uii, 

a comeback season from every- 
one's longtime favorite. 


Windows 95 CD-ROM, 539.95 
VR Sports, (949) 553-6655 

www.vrsports.com 




IN THE REAL WORLD, 

1 998 provided one of the greatest 
baseball seasons in decades. On 
the morning this was written, in 
fact, the country 
woke to learn that 
Mark McGwire had 
smashed the single- 
season home run 
record. 

Unfortunately, 
baseball's remark- 
able turnaround 
since the 1994 strike 
has not been dupli- 
cated on the PC. 

^ We've seen one 
is mediocre title after 
another the past 
few years. We'd 
pretty much given 
up on 1998, but a 
13th-hour appear- 
ance of a most 
unexpected title, VR 
BASEBALL 2000, has 


«omputergaming.c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1996 








ig over 200 countries/^ 


N172NU 


• ' 200'"’ 40 
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More than 9,000 airports; and 30,000 navaids. 
territories, and islandsi 'iFive accurate aim 


^^ deis (including singlp»,:.J[ 

prop, dual prop, turboprop, and business jet) bwd on specifications 
performance data frotn actuai aircraft manufactu^rs. • Accurate airctare^^’ ' ' 


pon model allow for 


miportiiig NOAA METAR '■ 
B) interacts K||,you for ' 


pockpits and avionics,talf.in the correct proportjmBnd layout from original j 
aircraft • Terrain sy^ and global digital j^b on model allow for 
realistic flight all "ve^^ worid. r Fly at am^^^ or yeact in a 
variety of user-defined father conditions, onplfiportiiig NOAA METAR '■ ‘ 
weather reports. • Realistic voice air traffic contio|^) interacts K|),you for ' 
ground control, tower, approach, departure, and regional oenfer operations. 

• Designed for expandability. Look for future aircraft and scenery expansion 
packs, as well as end-user editing tools. • Five scenery areas with continuous 
satellite imagery, covering 50,000 square miles of area. • Integrated flight 
planner and aircraft load-^out, allowing visual planning of cross-country 
flights and user-defined fuel, passenger,. :^d lo^ds. • Native 3D 

hardware support for MicrosaftpirecUD, 311fx Glide, Rendition Redlinp, NEGrr^j;.,: , . 
PowerVR, and Apple RAVE. • Join up to 7 friends in an Internet flight party, ' 


with text and full voice chat support 


■C 1996. THE CESSNA AIRCRAFT COMPANY, Wiibtib). Xmas 

FLY! Is a trailernarft of Terminal Reality. Terminal Realrty rs a Irarfeoaatk of Tetmirral Reality 
Inc. Gathering ol Deu8iopei;s and godgainaerefe trademarks of Gathering of Developers, Inc. 
All other icademarlis and ffade names aw^xroperties of their eespeeiKe owners. ?> t9M 
Gathering ol Developers, foe. 



‘FLY! IS SET TO ADVANCE THE CIVILIAN 
FLIGHT SIM GENRE BY TWO GENERATIONS 

-UemyMK\a,l^omputer earning V^orld 


34.5 nn 
BQi'o:3e.l2 
RMI 1300 
fiNHUN ON 


+++++0++!+-i 
flit 1560ft 
OBS 2100 
Pass Ok1 


wvnv.||odu3tnes.Goin 


lal cockpit and-runwey screenshot 


Go to #060 @ www.computergaming.com/infolInk 




THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 




4. LINKS LS '99 


Windows 95 CD-ROM, $79,95 
Access Software incorporated, 

(800) 793-0073 

www.accesssoftware.com 

THE PRETENDERS COME 

and go, but LINKS goes on forever. 
The granddaddy of golf sims 


player animations and 3D models 
improving the game's already 
stunning, state-of-the-art graph- 
ics. This year, EA is trying harder 
to please the hockey diehards 
who have long scoffed at the 
game's realism. It has improved 
puck physics and included a 
stronger Al that should make 


practice a variety of specific 
situations, like breakaways and 
power plays. This is PC sports 
action at its frenzied finest. 


6. NBA LIVE 99 


Windows 95 CD-ROM, 549.95 
EA Sports, (650) 571-7171 

www.easports.com 

YET ANOTHER STRONG 

title from all-dominant EA Sports, 
CGW's 1996 Sports Game of the 
Year continues to improve each 
season, with virtually no competi- 
tion. This year’s model continues 


5. NHL 99 


Windows 95 CD-ROM, 549.95 
EA Sports, (650) 571-7171 

www.easports.com 

ANOTHER YEAR, ANOTHER 

version of EA Sports' monster 
NHL franchise. NHL 99 should 
prove no less popular than any 
previous version, with all new 


returns for its latest round with a 
brand-new course, Scotland's 
St. Andrews Links Old Course, and 
other new features to keep the 
game alive for new and veteran 
players. Gameplay has been 
beefed up to include about 30 
modes of play as well as an editor 
that enables you to create and 
modify your own game rules. A 
tournament environment has been 
added as well as the ability to 
watch others and engage in voice- 
chat over the internet during mul- 
tiplayer games. Access has cleaned 
up the interface and a mouse 
swing in addition to the standard 
meter. LINKS LS is a perennial five- 
star game from a company that 
knows golf inside out. A sure bet 
for the desktop duffer in your life, 


computer-controlled players 
respond more properly to game 
situations. EA is also reaching out 
to hockey neophytes with a new 
Beginner mode (with most rules 
toggled off) and coaching drills 
from Marc Crawford, in which 
you can compete with different 
combinations of players and 


that trend, with some new and 
interesting features. The game's 3D 
engine is more sophisticated this 
year, with smoother and more real- 
istic animation (including changing 
facial expressions). The GM mode 
lets you draft a custom fantasy 
team and league and play up to 1 0 
seasons. And at last, you'll be able 
to download free updated rosters 
directly from EA's Web site. Arcade 
mode has coin-op style "monster 
jam" animations, while practice 
mode lets you play on outdoor 
courts. See our sneak preview 
elsewhere in this issue. 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


if.computergaming.c 







ny the hot new computer game Guns & Ammo: 
Now at Wal-Mart. 


Have fun, test your skill, compete with friends, relieve tension, try a hundred different 
kinds of guns. It's all yours with the new PC compatible game. Guns St Ammo®, 

Rifle range, skeet range and pop-up targets along with the military, high tech and 
collectible guns and authentic sounds, make this a must for shooting enthusiasts. 
Add to that Wal-Mart's Every Day Low Price, and you've got a sure fire winner. 



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THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 



7. BASEBALL MOGUL 99| 


Windows 95 CD-ROM, STBA 
Infinite Monkey Systems, 

(800) 229-2714 

www.imonkey.com 

OUR SLEEPER 1997 

Sports Game of the Year returns 
for an encore this fall, with all 
sorts of new stuff to keep base- 
ball geeks in hog heaven for 
another year. Eschewing action 
glitz for hard-core baseball 
strategy, BASEBALL MOGUL puts 


you in the role of GM and man- 
ager of the team of your choice 
and gives you the chance to build 
a dynasty. The new version has 
updated rosters, including the 
1998 expansion teams as well as 
a city editor and league editor 
that let you customize your 
league much more dynamically. 
Also included is a multiplayer 
mode — great news for the fanta- 
sy league fans for whom this 
game holds tremendous appeal. 



8. NCAA FOOTBAU 99 


Windows 95 CD-ROM, 549.95 
EA Sports, (650) 571-7171 

vvww.easports.com 

Well, WHADDYA know? Another EA Sports title makes the list, 
ITiat's what happens when one company dominates a genre. In this 
case, what we have is the best college football game in years. It's not as 
pretty as MADDEN, and there are some annoying bugs, but what it 
offers is an unprecedented level of college football mayhem. All 1 12 
Division 1-A teams are here, along with all the major bowl games and 
40 historic games to choose from. Best of all is the Dynasty mode, 
which lets you play multiple seasons and recruit new players (reminis- 
cent of GTE's late, great NCAA BASKETBALL). 



SjFRONTOFFICE 

footbalT"^™ 


Windows 95 CD-ROM, 534.95 
Solecismic Software, 

(888) 379-7878 

www.s0leci5mic.com 


TAKING ITS CUE 
FROM BASEBALL 
MOGUL. FRONT OFFICE 
FOOTBALL, from tiny 
startup Solecismic 
Software, takes you off 
the field and into the 
general manager's 
chair — this time in the 
world of the NFL. Part strategy, part role-playing, and rooted deep in the 
numbers of football, FRONT OFFICE FOOTBALL challenges you to take a 
football franchise and guide it on the road to financial success. Build sta- 
diums; futz with ticket prices; hire decent scouting and coaching staffs; 
and keep your player roster strong through trades, drafts, and contract 
negotiations. This low-budget affair is no MADDEN, but it's a dream of a 
simulation for the fanatical sports geek and inner Al Davis in us all. 



COMPUTER GAMING WORLD ■ DECEMBER 1998 




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THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 


10. SPORTING CLAYS 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, S24.99 
WizardWorks. (800) 229-2714 

www.wizworks.com 

SPORTING CLAYS IS THE 

rare standout in the overcrowded 
hunting genre. Why does it stand 
out? Because it’s actually fun to 
play, Unlike the myriad "Stand-in- 
the-woods-and-shoot-once-in-a- 
blue-moon" games, in SPORTING 


CLAYS, you're in a five-stand tour- 
nament, constantly blasting away 
at a good variety of clay targets. 
Plus, you don't actually kill any 
creatures, which is a plus for all 
the environmental goodie-two- 
shoes out there, Don't kid yourself, 
though, this game is difficult at the 
hardest settings: yet it's really 
accessible and fun to play. You can 
also hotseat against your buddies, 
which is, well, a blast. 



Stocking Stuff er 



m: 


I uch as we are 
normally loath 
to recommend any- 
thing having to do 
with either a) real 
life or b) exercise, 
we'd like to go out 
on a limb and sug- 
gest that CGW sports 
fans do something 
wacky this holiday sea- 
son: Buy a football 
and go outside. Grab 
some friends, your kid, 
your spouse — and toss that 
thing around the park. 

Believe it or not, you won't 
even need a gamepad. Weird, huh? 


If the sports freak in your life is already wasting most of his 
or her life in front of the TV or a computer game, you might as 
well make it twice as bad with an annual "Insider" subscrip- 
tion to ESPN's Web site (539.95). ESPN's main site is free, 
but with the subscription you get access to tons of additional 
columns and articles and, best of all, a 510 discount on ESPN's 
excellent fantasy games. For info, call (888) 549-3776. 


I 



other Sports Stuff 


T here are a ton of other sports 
titles on the way over the com- 
ing months, and believe it or not, 
they're not all coming from EA. 

One game that almost made 
this list is NFL GAMEDAY '99, the 
first PC version of Sony's long- 
running PlayStation hit. The game 
is not great (see our full review 
elsewhere in this issue), but it's 
definitely worth it for those inter- 
ested in multiplayer action over 
the Internet— its big advantage 
over MADDEN. More PC action 
can be had this year from two 
games: Acclaim's NFL QUARTER- 
BACK CLUB '99, a game whose 
predecessor surprised us with its 
better-than-average arcade play: 
and Midway's NFL BLITZ, the PC 
version of the coin-op smash, 
which has absolutely nothing to 
do with real-life football (and will 
probably offend those who actu- 
ally care about the sport) but is 
one of those annoyingly addictive 
guilty pleasures. 


Sierra has finally retired its 
long-running FRONT PAGE SPORTS 
line but is still serious about stay- 
ing in the sports gaming biz. Its 
biggest release, which probably 
would have made our main list if 
it had been further along, is NFL 
FOOTBALL PRO '99, the latest ver- 
sion of the deepest, most serious 
football simulation in PC gaming 
history — and the winner of 
CGW's Sports Game of the Year 
award three times in a row earlier 
this decade. Sierra is completely 


revamping the title, with a new 
3D engine and an even more 
detailed managerial mode, includ- 
ing a financial model that influ- 
ences roster maneuvering. We 
have high hopes for this one. 

Let's hope Sierra pulls it off. 

Look out for BASKETBALL PRO 99, 
which Sierra touts as the hoops 
equivalent of its football title, with 
an emphasis on both league man- 
agement and on-court action. 

One of the challengers making 
the most noise at E3 this year 


was ESPN Digital Games, which 
has two titles on the way: NBA 
TONIGHT and NATIONAL HOCKEY 
TONIGHT. Designed by the sports 
wonks at Radical Entertainment 
(NHL POWERPLAY) and gussied up 
with the kind of glitz that the 
ESPN license will buy. both 
games hold a great amount of 
promise — though we haven't 
seen enough to recommend 
them yet. Look for these games 
to at least outclass Fox Sports' 
unimpressive debut titles this 
year (which we admit isn't saying 
that much). As we went to press, 
however, Radical's future was in 
doubt, due to a persistent rumor of 
a buyout by— gulp— EA Sports. 

Speaking of EA Sports, it has 
another couple of titles under its 
belt. TIGER WOODS '99. reviewed 
elsewhere in this issue, might be a 
good choice for golfers, while 
KNOCKOUT KINGS lets you get into 
the ring and float like a butterfly 
with some of the greatest (includ- 
ing The Greatest) boxers of all 
time. Yeah, baby, yeah! 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1 998 


.i.computefgaiiiing.c 






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heard, and gaming that is absolutely unreal. 


rFIRACING 

SIMULATION 


Windows 95 CD-ROM, $29.99 
Ubi Soft Entertainment, (415) 547-4000 

www.ubisoft.com 

FOR AT LEAST THE PAST 

five years, MicroProse's GRAND 
PRIX (WORLD CIRCUIT) was syn- 
onymous with Formula One racing 
on the PC for two excellent rea- 
sons: 1) It was the best FI racing 
simulation available, and 2) it was 
the only FI racing simulation 
available. Now, Ubi Soft's FI 
RACING SIMULATION (don’t be con- 
fused with the straightforward 
title) may have just claimed the 
top spot on the podium over the 
aging GRAND PRIX 11. 

Bear in mind that we're talking 
about computer simulations here, 
so if you're new to computer 
gaming, don't compare this to an 
FI game you might have played 
on your PlayStation. FI RACING 
SIMULATION is as realistic as they 









'""leB.ra 030“'" 








FI RACING SIMULATION fires on all cylinders with well- 
thought-out design, ingenious programming, and 


artwork that's rendered for the speed of racing. 



come. Yet for all the precision and 
practice required to drive these 
cars competitively, FI RACING 
SIMULATION was designed with 
the beginner and novice in 
mind— there are plenty of driving 
aids to help you turn a clean lap, 
all of which you can toggle off as 
you start to gain confidence. 

For the veteran simulation driver, 
FI RACING SIMULATION is as accu- 
rate and satisfying a racing experi- 
ence as GRAND PRIX II was. but FI 
turns up the graphical standard a 
few notches with the help of 3D 


hardware support. The handling of 
the car model is smooth and con- 
sistent. And while the computer 
opponents can be aggressive, their 
moves are usually predictable. 

FI RACING SIMULATION fires on 
all cylinders with well-thought-out 
design, ingenious programming, 
and artwork that's rendered for 
the speed of racing. In the past, 
only MicroProse and Papyrus 
seemed to have a lock on com- 
puter racing simulations. Now, Ubi 
Soft might be frequenting your 
racing game podium. 


lik COMPUTER GAMING WORLD « DECEMBER 199B 


i/.computerganiing,( 











THli MOST ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY WE’VE EVER SEEN IN A PC GAMING TITLEJ" - COMPUTER GAMING WORLD 


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SITE B, IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE LOST WORLD EXPEDITION. BEFORE 
YOU LIES A DENSE, TROPICAL JUNGLE FILLED WITH PREHISTORIC 
CARNIVORES THAT ARE VERY MUCH ALIVE. YOUR ONLY CHANCE OF 
SURVIVAL IS TO USE YOUR WITS TO BATTLE THE RELENTLESS WILD- 
LIFE WITH ANYTHING YOU CAN GET YOUR HANDS ON. 

XReS-I>A:S:1tHR: 

THE EVOLUTION OF 1ST PERSON 3-D GAMING. 




Tffispassflf''' & © 1998 U C.S, Computar Pfuoram S' 1998 DWI. All Riflhts Reserved. 



THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 


li:rV ' ■! 


2^RAND_ 

PRiloEGEWDs' 





Windows 95 CD-ROM, $49.95 
Sierra Sports, (541) 343-0772 

www.sierra5p0rts.com 

SOME MIGHT CALL 1967 

the glory days of auto racing. It 
was the year before tobacco com- 
panies showed interest in — and 
showered big bucks on — FI rac- 
ing teams. It was also the year 
before aerodynamics were seri- 
ously considered;/* inverted wings 
would be a part of car design 
thereafter. Others might call it sui- 
cide. Many drivers (and not a few 
fans) met an untimely demise at 
the racetrack since safety was less 
of a concern than it is today. You 
can call it what you like after you 
take a few cautious laps around 
the track in one of these machines 
in GRAND PRIX LEGENDS, Papyrus' 
latest addition to its long list of 
classic driving simulations. 

GRAND PRIX LEGENDS letsyou 
jump in at the start of the 1 967 
Formula One season with the 
team of your choice. Start at the 
top with Team Lotus and the super 
duo of Graham Hill and Jimmy 
Clark, Or choose to join young 
Scottish driver Jimmy Stuart with 
team BRM. 

GRAND PRiX LEGENDS offers a 
unique style and era of racing. 
While most new driving games 


look to modern era cars, the rac- 
ing enthusiasts at Papyrus decided 
to take a look back at what was 
arguably a more romantic era of 
auto racing. As for racing enthusi- 
asts like us, we can't wait to get a 
chance to race in 1967. 


EA'S POPULAR SPORTS 

car racing game makes a grand 
return this year with a new 
graphics engine that's nothing 


short of spectacular. 

The development 
team has really 
squeezed out every- 
thing today's 3D 
cards have to offer. 

Blowing leaves, 
spraying water, and 
billowing snow are 
just a few of the spe- 
cial effects that will 
amaze you. The cars 
are polished to a mirrorlike shine, 
so you can see the sometimes 
fantastical surroundings reflected 
on the car bodies as you drive by. 
If you don't own a 3D card yet, 
NFSIll might be 
one of the best 
reasons to run out 
and buy one. 

Like the previous 
entries in the NEED 
FOR SPEED series, 
NFSIll also supplies 
plenty of nicely 
modeled sports 
cars to take out on 
the open road. Go 
for raw power in 
the Lamborghini 
Countache or the 


Ferrari F355 FI . Or take a more 
leisurely drive in the Jaguar XK8 
or the Aston Martin, with enough 
sports car handling for fun. 

One of the most fun parts of 
the game is the Hot Pursuit 
mode — the obstacles aren't just 
your opponents and the slower 
traffic. You'll have to watch out 
for the police cars; officers are 
poised with ticket books in hand, 
hoping to bring a premature end 
to your day. But you've come pre- 
pared with a police scanner and a 
radar detector. Or you can choose 
to be the pursuer in either a spe- 
cially modified Corvette or Lam- 
borghini squad car. In NFSIll, it's 
not just the speeders who get to 
have all the fun. 


EKmaHEmna 


HOT PURSUIT 


Windows 95 CD-ROM, $49.95 
Electronic Arts, (415) 571-7171 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


iputergaming.com 








'ou control the Linear 
Displacement Drive 


You control the 
Particle Beam Canons 


[You control the Critical 
I Systems Engineering 


It't 2SBa. you've been recruited to command a Dreadnought 
clott starship in the Commonu/ealth Kavy. Tifhtin^ an 
unpredictable and relentless enemy, the renegade Indies, 
you u/ill need much more than your Particle Beam Canons to 
u/in the Independence IVar. It's time to tahe control of your 
ship, your crew, and the future In the bi^^est and deepest 
space campaign the Galaxy has ever seen. 


DOUNLOAD THE BEflO AT« independencewar • com 


PARTICLE 

SYSTEMS 


1998 Infogrames Entertainment Inc./ Particle Systems Ltd. 
Go to #118 @ www.computergaming.com/infollnk 






ONE MAN MSAINSTIUI EMPIRE 


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FEAHIRNGJN EVOLVING STORY ra SWASHBUCKLING DUELS ^LIVING 3D WORLD 


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Bettiesda Softworks • 1370 Piccard Ortve, Rockville, MD 20850 • Fax: 301 926-8010 • www.belhsotl.com 
Betti8S(laSoftv/otks'“. The Elder Scrolls*, and Redguard'“ateirademarks o( Media Technology Umiied. Copyright ©1998 Media Technology Limited. All ngWs reserved. TheSDfx logo is a trademark of3Dlx Interactive, tnc. 



THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 


AMOTOCROSS 

MADMESS 


Windows 95 CD-ROM. S54.95 
Microsoft, (425) 882-8080 

www.microsoft.com 


5. MOTO RACER 2 


Windows 95 CD-ROM, 549,95 
Electronic Arts, (415)571-7171 

www.ea.com 


AS ONE OF FIVE MOTORCYCLE 



FOR ANYONE WHO LIKED 

to jump off ramps on their bike as 
a kid, this game might let you 
relive some of that excitement — 
without the fear of broken bones. 
You really get a sense of the scale 
of this game when you enter the 
Stunt Quarry — a vast, uncluttered 
stretch of terrain with lots of 
ravines, mounds, and hills from 


which to catch serious air and per- 
form spectacular jumps to your 
childish heart's content. 

You can also enter a variety of 
races in which handling and speed 
are more important than showing 
off (but the crowds love it). There 
are Baja Races, Stunt Quarries, 
National Races, and the Supercross. 


racing games coming out this 
year, MOTO RACER 2 builds on the 
popularity of its predecessor with 
better graphics, more detailed 
environments, and a new track 
editor that lets you create your 
own circuits. 

As in the first game, MOTO 
RACER 2 provides both high- 
powered street bike and dirt bike 
ade-style game, 
After you 
become profi- 
cient at riding 
both kinds of 
bikes, you can 
start a season, 
during which 
you'll be 
required to com- 
pete on both 
kinds of tracks. 
Choose a bike 
based on a com- 
bination of four attributes: top 
speed, handling, braking, and 
acceleration. Then try to keep up 
with the leaders on a high-speed 
road course or fly through the air 
on the hilly dirt track. It's fun and 
challenging to race on both, and 
MOTO RACER 2 is the only game 
that let's you do it, 



Microsoft Force Feedback Steering Wheel 

W hat better way to play a racing game then with a driv- 
ing wheel and pedal controller? Wheels have been get- 
ting better and cheaper lately, and none has excited us 
more than Microsoft's Force Feedback Steering Wheel (S199). The 
first time you experience the jarring bump of the road, the grind- 
ing of metal on metal, even the simple idling of your motor, you'll 
never want to go back. Check www.microsoft.com for more info. 



More Racing Games 


M any more racing games 
are coming down the 
pike in the next year. 
Here are just a few of them. 

VIPER RACING from Sierra 
Sports brings the same type of 
racing game to the PC as the 
PlayStation's GRAND TOURISMO. 
Start your career as an amateur 


driver with no funds and win 
races for money to buy upgrades 
for your car. Although VIPER 
RACING is a full simulation, differ- 
ent difficulty levels make it acces- 
sible for anyone. 

Virgin Interactive Enter- 
tainment gets into the driving 
game market this year with 
PROFESSIONAL SPORTS CAR 


RACING, based on the Profes- 
sional Sports Car Racing league 
that Virgin itself sponsors. The 
cars in this league are largely 
based on production cars from 
Audi, BMW, Ford, Honda, Volvo, 
and several others. They might 
not be as fast as a Formula One 
car, but they are certainly easier 
to handle. 


Accolade's TEST DRIVE 5 is the 
latest iteration of the popular 
arcade racing game, with as 
much and even more to offer 
than a lot of other racing games: 
more cars, more tracks, and 
more music tracks. The cars in 
TD5 are varied and include 
exotic, contemporary sports cars 
as well as muscle cars of old. 


i/.computergaming.c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 















..It;. A 


3d scalable graphics engine lets the 

GAME RUN ON JUST ABOUT ANY PC AND 
TAKES FULL ADVANTAGE OF THE 
LATEST 3d HARDWARE ACCELERATION 
WITH FULL V00D002"’ SUPPORT. 


Combat evil forces alone or jump 

ONLINE AND WREAK MULTIPLAYER HAVOC 
IN AN 8-PLAYER DEATHMATCH. 


Manipulate environments in order 

TO PROGRESS THROUGH SIX TREACHEROUS, 
MISSION-BASED WORLDS. 


MORPH INTO FOUR DIFFERENT VEHICLE 
TYPES INCLUDING LAND, HOVER, 
AMPHIBIOUS AND SUBMERSIBLE. 


Tote 18 high-powered weapons 

INCLUDING THE ARC SABER. 

PROXIMITY MINES, NAPALM, FREON 
CANNONS AND HIGH INTENSITY LASERS. 




DEMO RATED 
5 OUT OF 5 . 

-GAMESPOT 


...THE FINAL RELEASE 
IS CERTAINLY ON MY 
MUST-HAVE LIST." 

T'"'' -ADRENALINE VAULT 


THE VISUALS IN THE 
GAME ARE STUNNING AND 
THE GAMEPLAY IS 
EXTREMELY IMMERSIVE." 

-GAMESLICE 


Looks to be a killer*| 

ADDITION TO THE 
GAME GENRE." 

-NEXT GENERATION ONLINE 





-L. 1™ 




i • 


H 9^ ZIPPBR 

wjk 







1.STABCRAFT 


Windows 95 CD-ROM, 554.95 
Blizzard, (800) 953-7669 

www.biizzard.com 


WISHFUL THINKING PUT 

STARCRAFT on last year's Holiday 
Hot 100; unfortunately, it didn't hit 
store shelves until well after the 


holidays. But if you're a strategy 
gamer and you still don't have 
this spinning in your CD-ROM 
drive, you're missing out on the 
best traditional real-time strategy 
game so far this year. 

Forgoing formations, 3D graph- 
ics, and other bells and whistles, 
STARCRAFT focuses squarely on 
deep, addictive gameplay. Gamers 
can play as one of three truly dis- 
tinct races, each with its own 


Forgoing formations, 3D graphics, and other 
bells and whistles, STARCRAFT focuses 
squarely on deep, addictive gameplay. 



advantages, drawbacks, and 
unique unit sets. Whiie other 
games make few real distinctions 
between races apart from the odd 
iffterunit, STARCRAFT delivers a 
dramatically different gaming 
experience depending on whether 
you opt to play as the scrappy 
Terrans, the mystic warrior Protoss, 
or the hideous, Alien-Wke Zerg. 

Bolstered by a strong story, the 
single-player game is a study in 
constantly escalating challenge. 
The scenario design is stellar, fea- 
turing one of real-time strategy's 
most surprising and dramatic sce- 
narios early in the game, as 
hordes of scampering zerglings 


overrun a Terran base. It's a testa- 
ment to StarCraft's beautifully 
balanced play that there is no one 
way to win a scenario — thus elim- 
inating that annoying, almost puz- 
zlelike quality that plagues so 
many other strategy titles. 

As great as the game Is solo, 
multiplayer is where it really 
shines. You can develop your mul- 
tiplayer chops by squaring off 
against the computer's brutal Al in 
randomly generated scenarios. 
When you're ready, you can play 
over a LAN (up to eight players 
can spawn and play off one CD) 
or use Blizzard's free battle.net 
service for Internet play. 


Piik COMPUTER GAMING WORLD « OECEMBER 1998 


iputergaming.c 





THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 




SOULBLIGHTER 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, $49 
Bungie Software, (312) 397-0500 

wwrw.bungie.com 

THE FIRST MYTH 

garnered CCW's Strategy Game of 
the Year award last year, and it 
looks as though the sequel will be 
a top contender for the 1 998 
honor, Continuing the epic story of 
the first game, Bungie hasn't dras- 
tically changed anything in MYTH 
II, deciding wisely to improve and 
enhance gameplay while simplify- 
ing the interface. 

You'll still command a set num- 
ber of troops that gain experience 
over the course of your campaign. 
Commanding them is easier than 
before because the crucial controls 
for viewing the carnage-filled bat- 
tlefield are intuitively handled by 
simply moving your mouse. The 
original keyboard controls remain 
as an option. Critical unit facing is 
now achieved via a simple right- 
ciick-and-drag of highlighted units 
as opposed to MYTH's funky, 
seemingly perfunctory, wrist- 
snapping gesture-clicking. 

MYTH II features the same 
unforgiving tactical combat. But 
gamers who found the first game 
too unforgiving will be glad to 
hear that the learning curve has 
been flattened a bit, though not at 
the expense of challenging game- 
play. Enriching the playing experi- 
ence will be new units like mortar 
dwarves, friendly trow, and magic 
units with replenishing mana as 


well as new strategically useful 
elements such as fire. 

MYTH II features even lusher 3D 
environments, more frames of ani- 
mation, and improved pathfinding. 
Interior environments and polygo- 
nal moving objects such as draw- 
bridges have been added, at last 
satisfying gamers who longed to 
besiege castles. Finally, MYTH II 
will include editing tools, enabling 
gamers to create custom maps 
and units. 

By providing more of everything 
that made the first game a winner, 
Bungie has ensured that MYTH II: 
SOULBLIGHTER will be a must-have 
for PC warriors. Don't miss our full 
preview elsewhere in this issue. 


SjHEROESOFMIGHT 

AWDMAGiclII 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, $50 
3D0. (650) 261-3000 

wvtfw.3do.com 

TAKING PLACE AFTER 

events in the MIGHT AND MAGIC VI 
RPG, HEROES III adopts some of 
that game's enormity for the 
biggest, most varied installment in 
this stellar franchise. The turn- 
based gameplay that characterizes 
HEROES remains basically the 
same; Your mission is to lead 
armies of fantastic creatures 
across a lush landscape, fighting 
for resources, building cities, and 
storming castles. 

HEROES III features 16 types of 
heroes, including Beastmasters, 
Battlemages, and Death Knights. 
The towns will dictate which types 


www.computefgaming.com 


of heroes you get, rather than the 
heroes determining the town type 
as in previous HEROES editions. 

As you struggle to gain control 
of the land of Erathia, you'll 
employ such new units as gold 
dragons, devils, and incredibly 
powerful archangels. Each of the 
59 creatures has an upgraded 
version, for a total of 1 1 8 monster 
types. Throw In new war 
machines, like balllstae, and 
there's more than enough to 
satisfy even the most obsessive of 
micromanagers. With all these 



new units to control, unit stacks 
have been expanded to include up 
to seven unit types, and the hex- 
based combat maps have nearly 
doubled in size. 

HEROES III further distinguishes 
itself from the pack with a greater 
emphasis on story — a story told in 
three acts that comprise two mini- 
campaigns each. In addition, sub- 
quests occur midscenario when a 
player enters special parts of the 
map, and there are underground 
worlds to explore and conquer as 


well. These optional quests can 
affect the outcome of not only the 
current scenario but the entire 
campaign as well. 

ESiSmUH 


40,000: CHAOS GATE 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, $49.99 
SSI, (800)716-8503 

vvww.chaosgate.com 

TURN-BASED SQUAD-LEVEL 

combat is back and — surprise! — 
it's not an X-COM game. In SSI's 
WARHAMMER 40,000: CHAOS 

GATE, gamers command 
five-man units across 
various alien land- 
scapes, battling the 
forces of the evil Chaos 
cultlsts. Fully customiz- 
able squads let you 
name troops, shuffle 
squad lineups, and outfit 
each fighter with items 
from the game's enor- 
mous, devastating arse- 
nal. With only a limited number of 
troops, you're compelled to pro- 
tect your forces, but you'll be 
rewarded as they gain experience 
and abilities with every mission. 

The work that has gone into the 
Al in CHAOS GATE is evident even 
at the game's easiest setting: 
Enemies still fight smart, you just 
face fewer and weaker units. Of 
course, you'll be able to face the 
most challenging adversaries — 
other gamers — in multiplayer 
gaming that lets you battle as the 
twisted Chaos army. 









His movemenfs are so realistic 
the faster he runs, 
the harder he rams his head. 


[We said realistic, not bright.] 


27 species in total, head-ramming 3D. Single and multiplayer 
games — but whichever you choose, you’re always an alien. 
And humans are just something else for your trophy case. 


WWW. re d storm.com 





w H 






' A new breed of real-time strategy gaming. 27,000 square j 




miles of 3D alien landscape. A true day/night cycle. 




THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 



DON'T LET THE FLOOD 

of real-time strategy games fool 
you. Quality turn-based gaming 
is alive and well in such stand- 
out titles as WARLORD III: 
DARKLORDS RISING. More an expanded 
version of WARLORDS III: REIGN OF 
HEROES than a true sequel, this addictive 
title packs the earlier game and a ton of 
new goodies onto the same CD. Five new 
heroes and 3l new units pump the total 
up to 1 5 heroes and 95 units in 4 new 
campaigns and 1 5 new single scenarios. 

Gameplay takes place in both indoor 
and outdoor environments as gamers 


6. WARLORDS III 


DARKLORDS RISING 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, S39.95 
Red Orb Entertainment, 

(415) 382-4777 

www.redorb.com 


S^COMMANDS 

CONQUE^j” 

TieSiANSu!^ 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, S49.95 
Westwood Studios, (888) 212-1702 

www.westwood.com 


ALTHOUGH ITS STORYLINE 

is worthy of a well-crafted Silver Surfer 
saga, COMMAND & CONQUER 2:TlBERIAN 
SUN doesn't unfold In a linear manner, 
and gameplay doesn't repeat. Scenarios 
are no longer scripted, and mission solu- 
tions are driven by considerations of 
weight, flammability, geography, and 
weather — not predetermined factors. In 
addition, you're not living in a vacuum. 
Civilians and mutants don't just stand 
around; they form militias, Totally merce- 
nary commando units can be recruited if 
you find the resources and artifacts they 
want. Spies can steal information by 
entering facilities invisibly. Units that sur- 
vive missions gain experience levels, con- 
stantly improving. The Al uses a problem- 
solving routine, actually learning from 
playing against you by building a contin- 
uously growing database of your tenden- 
cies, COMMAND & CONQUER 2:TIBERIAN 
SUN has a mixture of familiar and new 
game mechanics, fascinating new graph- 
ic effects, and what appears to be a chal- 
lenging new Al. nod's back! 


generate armies, defend and besiege 
castles, and develop their heroes' abilities. 
A random mission generator guarantees 
long-term replayability, as do the new 
scenario/campaign editor and the robust 
multiplayer options. 


APOPUIGUS: 
THE BEGINNING 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, S54.95 
Origin, (800) 245-4525 

www.orlgin.ea.com 

POPULOUS: THE BEGINNING 





(POP: T8) ranks as the ultimate 
god-game, putting you in the 
role of a shaman striving to 
become a deity. In this real-time 
title you shoot for divinity, 
building villages, raising armies, 
and ruthlessly killing or convert- 
ing your enemies. The third 
installment of a ground-break- 
ing series, POP:TB maintains a 
slightly whimsical, otherworldly 
tone. Utterly original, POP: TB is 
a breath of fresh air. 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD « DECEMBER 1998 


ilk. 



UJ^ MijjJBMJM 

^ vJJuu7 




Fast SHU” support, op lo 1024 s TBS wWi 
VopiIooZ" [IncTEllille wIBi 8UI 
hilly Inleractiin! SB vMal coslipit 
Bm 45 sM alone single-player/ 


cooperallve missions 


^B* of taOmniiraplilcs syslemlor 
ooreslrlcledvlewsoltlieacflon 
> large-scale Inlemel play via niovaWorld' - 
go liead-tD'liead wWi over tSB F-1B MidHe 
RgOters, IBIE-2B hdcmms" and F-SSBaplers' 


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Go to #094 @ www.computergaming.com/infoNnk 


k'.computergarning.c 












liiGAMER 

EDITDfIS' 


COMPUTER 

GAMES 

STRATEGY PLUS 


#“Remintls You That Adventure idi 
■AtTIjelr Best- Can PuH'Your Heart 
Brain As Solidly As A^iy Motion Iff 


•Computer Gaming World 


•J.C. HertZi The Hew York Times 


Likely To Keep You Glued To Your 
Computer For Hours At A Time.” 

-PC Gamer 


‘Vastly DiFFefe'nt And 

Thoroughly Entertaining, 


•Next Generation 


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Game Where Your 
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I ARIUM 


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Go to #233 @ www.computergaming.com/infollnh 




THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 



8. BIRTH OF THE 


FEDERATIOM 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM. S55 
MicroProse, (510) 864-4550 

www.nikropro5e.com 


of realistic weapons. Wrap a more 
sophisticated strategic campaign 
around the mix, and you have the 
makings of an addictive game. You 
manage a team of mercenaries bent 
on freeing an island nation from the 
grips of a two-bit dictator. Resource 
management, NPC interaction, and 
careful tactical movement all play 
big roles. From what we've seen of 
the JAGGED ALLIANCE 2 demo, this 
game should really appeal to JAGGED 
ALLIANCE and X-COM fans, and even a 
few role-players who liked FALLOUT. Just 
make sure you can survive the inevitable 
sleep deprivation. 



STAR TREK 

game have hit all cor- 
ners of the galaxy in 
terms of quality, but 
BIRTH OF THE FEDERA- 
TION (BOTF) looks like a 
real winner. Taking 
place in the Next 
Generation universe, 

BOTF lets you play as 
one of five major 
alliances (Federation, 

Ferengi, Klingon, 

Cardassian, or 
Romulan), with the 
inherent strengths and 
weaknesses of each affecting gameplay. 
The scope of the game rivals that of the 
universe itself, stressing resource man- 
agement, trade, diplomacy, and combat. 


10. RAILROAD 


TYCOON II 


9JAGCM 
ALLIANCE 2 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, S59.95 
Pop Top Software, (212) 696-2000 

www.poptopsoftware.com 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM. S48.99 
Sir-Tech, (315) 393-6451 
www.jaggedalliance.com 

START WITH THE TACTICAL 

aspects of the original JAGGED ALLIANCE, 
mix in an isometric perspeaive, stir in a 
pinch of role-playing, and add a handful 


SINCE WE LAST WROTE 

about this game, we've been impressed 
by how much theAi has improved, partic- 
ularly with the computer robber barons, 
if you're expecting a rehash of other rail- 
road games, forget it. Whether you're 
micromanaging your business, immers- 
ing yourself in stock trading, or just 
playing with your virtual train set, 
you'll find plenty of freshness here. 
The 3D engine can manipulate up to 
300,000 polygons, allowing you to 
freely rotate the landscape. Best of 
all, the game looks good even on 
older Pentiums, with no need for a 
3D accelerator. RAILROAD TYCOON II 
should support up to 16 would-be 
Vanderbilts for multiplayer action. 



COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 






lUOVALOGIC /BS^ - KMPimMvnmnW iPJ. 

eiMknUKk. 

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FULCRUM 

SHROUDED IN SECRECY 
DEHIND THE 
IRONCDHTHIN 

UNTIL NOIN... 

• fligin model tested by Yuri Prlhhodho, Russian 
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• Faslandfiirloiis3Dls"sdpp(iFtedconibalwllb 
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viiltbVoodoo2") 

° HlMdeteledinteraElivecoclqitt 

• 8 dnerent camera views ter exceptlDiial 
situaOenal awareness 

• Over 48 stand alone single-player/ 
cooperative missiens 

• large-scaie Internet play via IllovaWorld"- 
gn head-te-head with over 120 F-1S Munirele 
righlers", lldlG-29 Falcrems and F-22RapUrs~ 


v.computcrgaming.t 


Go to #128 @ www.computergaming.com/infollnk 














• The most realistic PC 
wrestling game ever! 


• Over 60 of the top WCVV 
and NWO superstars 


' Signature and finishing 
moves, taunts, and rants 


id.WCW^anlNWO^intrtiHiniikiotWotldClainpiodiNpWnslMxi.Inc.AgctaracundnKlM.i'tlnMmiiUolot giH 

Go to #269 @ www.computergaming.com/infollnk 



THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 



More Strate 


Gift Givin 


W ith heaps of new games com- 
ing out late this year, it's easy 
to overlook older favorites that 
gain new life via expansion packs. Easily 
topping this list is AGE OF EMPIRES: THE 
RISE OF ROME, a real favorite at the CGW 
office, which has led to the renaming of 
midday as "Age of Lunch." RISE OF ROME 
adds four new civilizations and four new 
technologies, and (finally) lets you queue 
up unit production. There are five impres- 
sive new units as well, including the 
priest-hacking scythe chariot, which lets 
you literally — and bloodily— cut down 
the threat of unit conversion. 

STARCRAFT: BROOD WAR, Blizzard's 
official add-on, is sure to appeal to any 
STARCRAFT fan. Thirty new campaign 
missions provide plenty of challenge and 
continue the story of the first game. But 
the real draw here should be the new 
units, two for each race: an air-to-air unit 
and Dark Templars for the Protoss; heal- 
ing medics and the devastating Valkyrie 
missile frigate for theTerrans; and a new 
mutalisk aspect and defensive unit for 
the Zerg. Of course the new units, tile- 
sets, and maps will be supported for 
multiplayer carnage on battle.net. 

Based on the H.G. Wells sci-fi classic, 

GT Interactive's WAR OF THE WORLDS 
breaks from the standard, preset-mission 
formula of most real-time strategy 
games by asking gamers to position theii 
forces on a large strategic map of the 
British Isles. The result is refreshingly 
nonlinear gameplay. Gamers can play as 
either the defending English or the 
invading Martians. The two sides have 
radically different units and technologies; 
and while resource-management is a 
definite part of the game, the differing 
technologies will have each side scram- 
bling for different raw materials. It's a 


sharp-looking game, featuring 
3D animated objects, light- 
sourcing, and some cool envi- 
ronmental effects courtesy of a 
dynamic particle system. 

World-builders will welcome 
SiMCiTY 3000 and CAESAR III. 
Unlike SIMCITY 3000, CAESAR III 
has some combat, but both 
games emphasize managing the 
growth and well-being of a city, 
albeit in vastly disparate eras. Keeping 
your populace happy, pleasing the 
emperor, fighting invaders, and estab- 
lishing trade routes will determine your 
success in CAESAR III. Aspiring city man- 
agers in SIMCITY will have to contend 
with natural disasters, build power grids, 
and find a tax rate that will attract busi- 
ness without driving away citizens. 

Interactive Magic's SEVEN KINGDOMS: 
ANCIENT ADVERSARIES might seem like 
an AGE OF EMPIRES clone, but to call it 
so would do it a disservice. There is no 
campaign; your goal, simply put, is to 
expand one of several different ancient 
cultures until you basically control the 
world. This is a complex game that 
doesn't emphasize combat. Instead, it 
focuses on a deep economic model, con- 
struction, espionage, and diplomacy, 
with a smidgen of fantasy, to provide 
the bulk of its challenge. 







How can 
a medieval 
painting 
depicting a 
game of 
chess put 
your life in 
jeopardy? 
That's the 
question 
that Julia, a 

young art restorer, des- 
perately attempts to answer 
as she peels away the surface of 
The Flanders Panel — a painting that 
holds the key to a 500-year-old murder. 
All she needs to do is reconstruct the 
moves of the fateful match. Novelist 
Arturo Perez-Reverte builds a tale of 
intrigue and suspense as rich and com- 
plex as the layers of oils on the artwork 
itself. The Flanders Panel ($1 1 .95) is 
published by Bantam. 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 199B 


ilk 


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1. THE OPERATIOWAl 


ART OF WAR 


war films starring over-the-hil! 
actors with bad British accents. 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, 549.95 
TalonSoft, (800) 211-6504 

www.taionsoft.com 


IN LESS-TALENTED HANDS, 

this game would be a bone-dry 
treatise worthy of stacking on 
your shelves next to those 1960s 


That THE OPERATIONAL ART OF 
WAR is a triumph as a simulation 
of 20th century warfare is a wel- 
come slap in the face of insipid 
near-future games (most of which 
wouldn't know a morale check if 


Amchair commanders will spend hours drooling 
over the variety of command options at their 
fingertips before they ever launch an attack. 


it bit them in the command post). 



That ART OF WAR is also a chal- 
lenging, enjoyable game is cause 
for celebration. 

Before Norm Koger fans 
immerse themselves in wargaming 
heaven, be warned that ART OF 
WAR has a steep learning curve. 
Once you have the game system 
down, however, it rewards you like 
no other operational-level game 
on the PC. For me, it was like hav- 
ing PACIFIC WAR with a real inter- 
face and a commonsense deploy- 
ment system. Armchair comman- 
ders will spend hours drooling 
over the variety of command 
options at their fingertips before 
they ever launch an attack. 


ART OF WAR takes into account 
a dizzying 90-plus factors during 
combat, but it also has surpris- 
ingly good pacing for a complex 
turn-based game. The sophis- 
ticated Al knows how to use com- 
bined arms and when to call in 
artillery and air support. I guaran- 
tee it'll kjck you from here to 
Bataan the first few games (if you 
don't cheat). Once you tire of the 
sophisticated computer opponent 
and tough campaigns, ART OF 
WAR lets you edit practically 
every asfJect of the game. It's 
hard to believe, but TalonSoft may 
have surpassed its BATTLEGROUND 
series with this one. 


COMPUTgR GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


iputetgaming.t 





THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 




2. AXIS & ALLIES 


3. BAme OF BRITAIN 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, $44.95 
Hasbro Interactive, (508) 921-3700 

www.hasbro.com 

WHEN LARRY HARRIS' 

beer-and-pretzels boardgame 
vision of WWII hit the marketing 
beaches, it was mostly ignored by 
the "realism is king" crowd. In 
1984 Hasbro picked up the game, 
streamlined it, and supercharged 
the graphics. A million or so units 
later, Axis & Allies is still selling, 
which bodes well for its conver- 
sion to PC. 

AXIS & ALLIES begins at the 
peak of Axis success, when 
Germany and Japan must press 
hard for a strategic victory before 
the industrial might of the United 
States swings the tide in the 
Allies' favor. Along the way, you 
struggle for dominance in North 
Africa, try to blitz Russia out of 
the war, prep for D-Day, and 
research high-tech weapons like 
jet fighters and heavy bombers. 

Lest you fear another YAHT2EE or 
PIQIONARY, rest assured that every- 
thing you've come to love from the 
boardgame is here, with a toggle 
for every option you've ever imag- 
ined. The improved rules for multi- 
ple hits on battleships and sub- 
merged submarines are by them- 


whether the veteran duo of Gary 
Grigsby and Keith Brors had — like 
one of those art-rock groups from 
the 1 970s — run out of keyboard 
miracles. Working with TalonSoft, 
however, seems to have revitalized 
the famed designers. Because 
BATTLE OF BRITAIN looks to be as 
fun as Grigsby's USAAF from the 
old Apple ll/C-64 days, with the 
added advantage of a more dynam- 
ic situation. 

BATTLE OF BRITAIN is a combina- 
tion of real-time and turn-based 


strategy closer to HARPOON than 
MAX or X-COM. Basically, the 
German player maps out his bomb- 
ing raids, strafing runs, and escorts, 
then launches them (up to 100 
missions per day) choosing the 
time, altitude, and paths for each. 
Once the Luftwaffe shows up, the 
British player reacts as the clock 
ticks, trying to figure out whether 
those squadrons over Birmingham 
are really going after the steel fac- 
tories or are simply a diversion for 
a massive attack on Big Ben. 

Everything happens oper- 
ationally — you won't be 
fighting tactically as in 
ACHTUNG! SPITFIRE— but 
there is plenty going on to 
keep you busy. It seems that 
every fighter, recon, bomber, 
pilot, and historical target 
from the battle has been 
included, and there's even 
an optional 1941 campaign. 
While we're happy to see 
Grigsby finally doing a 
Windows 95 game, there is 
the possibility that the game 
won't be fully 3D as expect- 
ed. Still, this is a fresh take 
on the most famous aerial 
campaign in history, and a 
pretty safe bet for the bud- 
ding air force commander 
in your family this holiday 
season. 


selves almost 
worth the price 
of the game. 

TheAl is quite 
competent. And 
for games 
between human 
generals, Hasbro 
plans to support 
every kind of 
multiplay option. 

At press time, it 
was unclear 
whether optional 
time limits for 
each turn would 
make the cut, so 
make sure you're 
playing with 
someone who 
takes less than 
an hour per turn. AXIS & ALLIES is 
one of those rare games that goes 
beyond genre boundaries. It's hard 
to imagine any gamer not smiling 
upon finding this under the tree. 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, $49.95 
TalonSoft, (800) 211-6504 

www.talansoft.com 


WITH THE SOMEWHAT 

lackluster reception of STEEL 
PANTHERS III, you had to wonder 


I'.computergaming.e 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD ♦ DECEMBER 




IPS TIME YOU 



ReuolutionBry new battlefield physics - 
Deformable terrain, energy weapon 
effects, dynamic colored lighting and 
flying shrapnel - intensifies the realism 
and encitement. 

New “ueterancy” feature enables units to 
become smarter, faster and strnnger as 
they become battle hardened with combat 
eaperience. 

Experience the future nf ginbal war with 
new, high-energy weapons and defenses 
- Jump Jet Infantry, Laser Fences, 
Disruptors, Houer Tanks, Tunneling APCs, 
The Firestorm Defense, Mechanized Battle 
Units and many more. 


More tactics of sabotage and guerilla 
warfare - execute couert night mission 
set forest fires and destroy bridges - 
with unigue opportunities in three 
different enuimnments. 

Internet nlav is easier than ever with a 


THE STUNNING SEQUEL TO THE 


SAW THE FUTURE 



ORIGINAL COMMAND & CONQUER. 


THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 




his crew. So 
while we had 
more than a few 
quibbles with 
EAST FRONT, we 
were hardly sur- 
prised to find 
that WEST 
FRONT is an 
improvement in 
every way. The 
game plays 


6. NORTH VS. SOUTH 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, $49.95 
Interactive Magic, (800) 789-1 534 

www.imagicganie5.com 

NORTH VS. SOUTH MAKES 

use of the same basic engine as 
1-Magic‘s GREAT BAHLES, with 
heavy modifications for muskets 
and artillery (instead of shields 
and spears). In addition to the 
usual stand-alone battles, there 


will elicit a Rebel Yell from even 
the Yankee In your household. 


TjlOIJIJElOICT 

^ORMANP^^" 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, STBA 
Empire Software, (800) 216-9706 

www.empire-u5.com 

ASIDE FROM ITS INCREDIBLY 



4. AIDE DE CAMP 2. 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, $59.95 
HPS Simulations, (408) 554-8381 
www.hpssims.com 

A SEQUEL TO THE POWERFUL 

editing program that vy.on a CGW 
Special Achievement Premier 
Award three years ago, AIDE DE 
CAMP 2 (ADC 2) lets you convert 
your paper games to play-by-email 
computer games. ADC 2 won't 
magically put an Al in your 
boardgame conversion, nor will it 
change turn-based games to real- 
time. But it does have security 
passwords, hidden unit options, 
variable initiative, and a slick line- 
of-sight algorithm. It even supports 
card play. After a little practice, you 
may find your 256-color version 
preferable to paper maps — espec- 
ially if you're allergic to dust. 


5. WEST PROMT 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, $49.95 
TalonSoft, (800) 211-6504 

www.talonsoft.com 

NO ONE IN THE COMPUTER 

gaming industry supports a prod- 
uct line better than Jim Rose and 


faster (particularly when the Al is 
moving), the combat routines 
have a better historical feel, and 
the graphics are both more pleas- 
ing and more functional. If that 
isn't enough, fans of Saving 
Private Ryan can try their own 
hand at D-Day. What more could 
you ask for? 


are dynamic campaigns and 
plenty of "what-if" options. What 
separates this from similar fare is 
that Craig Taylor is one of the 
best designers of 1 9th century- 
based games out there. If his 
usual deft touch with idiosyncrat- 
ic rules and exquisite game bal- 
ance is there, NORTH VS. SOUTH 


long name. 
Interactive Sim's 
101:THE101ST 
AIRBORNE IN 
NORMANDY 
should be a 
welcome treat 
for fans of turn- 
based WWII 
wargames. The 
colorful maps 
resemble those 
of CLOSE 
COMBAT, 
but the focus is 
different. You 
have to deal 
with your 18- 
man squad 
becoming sepa- 
rated in the 
darkness or link 
up with a hid- 
den French Resistance group. 

Each soldier possesses different 
personality traits, skills and spe- 
cial training, rated in various 
categories, which include intelli- 
gence, endurance, weapons 
usage, and throwing ability. This 
gives the game a nice role-play- 
ing feel for any ripcord-puller. 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD • DECEMBER 1998 


ipulurg.iming.c 










this online fantasy world at WWW,3clo. 


com /Meridian 


Intense Battles Ancient Magic ' - 

Massivbi.v Mi’i/i i-Playi;r Intkuxkt RPG 

k Go to if^44 @ www.computergamIng.com/infollnk 

I V jl O IsgatlYeSDO Company. All Righls Reserved. 3D0. Meridian S9, end Iheir respective logos, are trademarks or registered trademarks of The 3D0 Company In the U.S. and/or other countries. 
' All other trademarks and trade names belong to iheir respective owners. 





Game 


1941; German armies have overrun Europe. Now the High Commapa nasi 
turned Its attention eastward to Russia, and is preparing to invade the 
Motherland in the largest military operation the woitd has ever seen, Tens of 
millions of soldiers will take up the fight to either bring Russia to its kneeS 
or to repel the invasion and bring the German war machine to a grinding halt 

Now you can command the complete farces of either nation on the Eastern 
Front, in a wargaming simulation of unprecedented scale and detail. 


Radical new approach to wargame design gives you control of troops by the thousands while the 
game engine simulates movement, engagement, supply, morale, and more with incredible detail 
that goes all the way down to individual companies. 

Plan operations just as a real commander would, drawing operational maps and drafting orders to 
distribute to your armies then watch as your commands are carried out in real-time. 

Wage war on real terrain with realistic representation of command and control. No hexes, no turns, 
just pure simulation of military command on an unprecedented scale. 

Go to #247 @ www.computergaming.com/infolink 


Windows® 95 CD-ROM Strategy 

www.imagicgames.com 


THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 


SjGREATBATTLES 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, 549,95 
Interactive Magic, (800) 789-1534 

www.imagicgames.com 

MUCH MORE THAN THE 

contractual-obligation-greatest-hits 
aibum, this version of GREAT 


BATTLES finally comes close to the 
epic sweep and historical accuracy 
of the award-winning boardgames 
on which the series is based. All of 
the graphical and engine improve- 
ments from CAESAR have been 
retrofitted to ALEXANDER and 
HANNIBAL (the latter is finally 
patched). Best of all, the new sce- 
nario editor finaiiy iets you pit 
Julius against Alex to see if either 




Stockff) 


Command Magazine 
includes a playable board wargame 
with the classic cardboard counters and colorful 
paper maps, along with a number of historical articles includ- 
ing one on the game's subject. For not much more than a single com- 
puter game, you get six different wargames, which are generally on 
topics you'd never see on a PC, such as Napoleon's planned invasion of 
Britain. Passionate, controversial, and never dull — a great gift. 
S85/year. PO Box 4017, San Luis Obispo, CA 93403 (800) 488-2249. 


of them is worthy of holding 
Hannibal's spear. A great buy, this 
is how the games should have 
shipped in the first place. 


9. PEOPLE'S GEMERAL 


Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, 549.95 
SSI, (800) 245-4525 

www.ssioniine.com 

WE WERE REALLY WORRIED 

about this game, since it ignored 
the Communists vs. Nationalists 
struggle in post-WWII China in 
favor of a hypothetical Chinese- 
Russian war at the turn of the 
21st century. But PEOPLE'S 
GENERAL turned out to be more 
fun than we expected. It's not 
PANZER GENERAL II by any means, 
but there are plenty of high-tech 
toys with which to play, and the 


new air and artillery subsystems 
wreak a heap of havoc in a hurry. 


10. DRAfiOOM 


Windows 3.5-inch floppies, 529.95 
Art of War/Boku Strategy. 

(319) 351-5396 

www.boku.simplenet.com/ 

index.htmi 

WE AT CGIVHAVE ALWAYS 

had a soft spot for Indie publish- 
ers, but this game makes the list 
strictly on merit. Boku Strategy 
and Art of War get Brownie points 
for simulating warfare in the age 
of Frederick the Great — one of 
wargaming's most neglected 
areas — and for making it some- 
how enjoyable. DRAGOON encour- 
ages the proper use of command 
control and linear tactics — a nice 
achievement for any game. 


other 

Holiday Battles 

T alonSoft marches apace with BATTLEGROUND 9: 

CHICKAMAUGA, which brings the esteemed engine up 
to true Windows 95 standards. SSI's ULTIMATE WWII 
COLLECTION hardly qualifies for that title, but it's worth buy- 
ing just to introduce a friend to RM4ZER GENERAL II. Though 
it's a bit dated now, SEMPER Fl! iets your Marines trample all 
kinds of opposition during a lunch break. MAN OF WAR II, 
GUADALCANAL, and PACIFIC TIDE will likely slip to early 1999, 
so don't plan your holiday shopping around them. 


u.computergaming.t 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 









SOUII: 

A strjnp lad pmrfBl niilc healsr 




find this PEARL 























Tlie citizens of Calli are about to be wiped out by a deadiy 

epidemic. But to find the raysticai green peari that can save them, you / 

must run a suicidal gauntlet through a massive tower. There are only two ways 
out: Alive and very dead. And there are plenty of hideous creatures in your way who ^ 

ate voting for dead. One thing’s for sure, survival isn't pretty. OR ijie 

• Plunge into the bizarre 3-D worlds of • Make your way through 8 intricate • O.D.T. is an intense action adventure 
O.D.T. It's part magic, part mayhem. levels and more than 70 treacherous game that lets you choose from four 
sectors. characters - Lt. Ike Hawkins, Julia 

Chase, Maxx Havoc and Solaar - with 
different strengths, abilities and 
special moves. 


Confront your own mortality with 
endless fighting combinations, including 
hand-to-hand, weapon or spell combat. 






Welcome to Nanocorps, where you’ll soon discover the benefits of being small. You’re qm^ 


lly under the bathroom door. And best of all 


can see the look in 


when you pusl 


Get Small. Them 

Get Even. 

l!l!IS iNjiiiil.iiiiiui'iit All il^llLs rcHcrvL'il. Naiiciniiiiiiiciil'.'' I'ly 1 litiiU rl 

?'aiid Njinuiiiiw"' Innos iir 

\ lot 1 0 til \iliilt • wuAv.ttuiiolaliitiR'iit.coin 

V ir.iili'iiKiiks iirN;iii(>luiiiiiii'iil.‘'' .Alloifirr (rjilciiurks.iml Lraili' luiiiius iirc |>rii|ii 




I 




solid implementation of 
the TNT, combined with a 
gamer-oriented tweak util- 
ity and an attractive soft- 
ware bundle. The Velocity 
4400 pumps out an 
impressive 3D Game- 
Gauge score of 483 run- 
ning at 800x600, and the 
2D performance is also 
impressive. The card ships 
with a full OpenGL instal- 
lable client driver (iCD), 
which delivers superb per- 
formance on OpenGL 
games like QUAKE li. 


The RIVA TNT chip is one of the most anticipated 
graphics accelerator chips of the past year. 


I.STBVeloci 


nrinn 


Velocity 4400, SI 99 

STB Systems, (972) 234-8750 

www.stb.com 


IT'S NO BOLD STATEMENT 


that 3D graphics are here to stay, 
and it's no surprise that 3D first 
found a home in first-person 
shooters and vehicle sIms. But last 
year saw the arrival of the 3D 
strategy game and even 3D- 
accelerated kids' titles. Microsoft 
delivered DirectXS, which signifi- 
cantly improves usability and per- 
formance of Direct3D. OpenGL 
also garnered wider acceptance 
with a number of companies 
announcing OpenGL titles — and 
not just ones based on the QUAKE 
engine. Running the latest crop of 
3D games requires serious CPU 
and graphics horsepower. 

Stepping up to the plate is nVidia 
with the RIVA TNT. 

The RIVA TNT chip from nVidia 
is one of the most anticipated 


graphics accelerator chips of the 
past year.TNT's dual-rendering 
pipeline, true-color rendering 
capability, and support for new 
features like bump mapping and 
stencil buffering (in addition to all 
the usual 3D features) means that 
we're likely to see some interest- 
ing effects in future games. 

Our holiday pick for RIVA-based 
boards is the STB Velocity 4400, a 


The software bundle includes 
a full version of FORSAKEN, 
enhanced to support 32-bit color 
and resolutions up to 1280x1024. 
There are some productivity pack- 
ages and 3Deep, a gamma man- 
agement app from Colorific. And 
with a price of $199 for a 16MB 
board, the STB Velocity 4400 
won't damage your pocketbook 
too much, either. 



Z^Guillemot 

Maxigamei^ 

Phoenix 


Maxigamer Phoenix, $1 29 (after rebate) 
Guillemot International, 

(800) 967-0863 

www.guillemot.com 

NOT EVERYONE CAN 

afford to upgrade their systems 
every year. Let's say you bought 
last year's killer rig — a 266MHz or 
300MHz Pentium II. Or you're 
scraping up all your savings to get 
a 300MHz Celeron-A or K6-2 sys- 
tem. Which 2D/3D card do you 
choose? If you can afford only one 
card, consider a board that uses 
3Dfx's new Banshee chipset. 

The Banshee is no replacement 
forVoodoo^, but Banshee's per- 
formance in Direct3D, OpenGL, 
and Glide games is nonetheless 
solid. Even a multitexture game 
like QUAKE II does reasonably 
well on a Pentium II with 
Banshee, although it has to per- 
form multipass rendering to pull 
off QUAKE ll's multitexturing 
effects. The 2D performance is 
very good and surpasses every- 
thing except the TNT — at least 
up to 1024x768x32. 

Our pick for Banshee boards is 
Guillemot's Maxigamer Phoenix. 
The board itself isn't all that spe- 
cial — pretty much a copy of the 
3Dfx reference board. But it's 
cheap. A 16MB board retails for 
$149 but comes with a $20 rebate 
coupon, making the net price 
$1 29. It comes with some cool 
games, too, including a limited 
version of HALF-LIFE, the full ver- 
sion of BARRAGE, and a host of 
demos. Phoenix also comes in 
both PCI and AGP flavors, so if you 
can afford only one low-cost 
board, check it out. 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


I'.computefgaming.t 







THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 






3. Creative Sound 


Blaster Live! 


4. PowerLeap AMD 


6. ADS 


K6-2 Upgrade 


Technologies 


USB Hub 


5. Anchor Chips 


EZ-Link 


w.computergaming.con 


delivers 
near-Ethefiici 
times (30-40ms), but its maximum 
data rate is much slower than 
Ethernet, somewhere in the 
l-2Mbits/sec range, compared 
with Ethernet's typical 6 - 8 Mbits/ 
sec. However, if you want to put 
together a good gaming network 
quickly, EZ Link makes it simple. 


that screamin' Voodoo^ board in a 
PI 33, you've got an imbalance 
between your now-underpowered 
CPU and a powerful 3D chipset. 

The folks at PowerLeap offer a 
wide array of CPU upgrades based 
on Intel, AMD, and Cyrix CPUs. 
What's more, these upgrades 
arrive with an onboard voltage 
converter and ample documenta- 
tion to ease installation. At a mini- 
mum, you'll need to update your 
system's BIOS. You may also have 
to install a third-party shareware 
BIOS to have your system work 
with the new CPU. But for those 
gamers out there with Pentium 
60MHz machines (Socket 3) or 
Pentium 100-1 66 MH 2 machines 
(Socket 5) who aren't ready to 
move to an AGP motherboard, 
these upgrade options are defi- 
nitely worth considering, 

PowerLeap's upgrade CPUs 
range in price from under SI 00 to 
about S229 for the fastest AMD 
K 6-2 chip. 


EZ-Link, $79.95 

Anchor Chips, (619) 676-6815 

www.ezlmkusb.com 


Sound Blaster Live! Value, 599 
Creative Labs, (408} 428-6600 

www.soundblaster.com 


AFTER SOME HESITANT 

experiments based on its Ensoniq 
acquisition. Creative enters the 
PCI sound card fray full tilt with 
Sound Blaster Live! For $99 the 
Value edition lacks many of the 
amenities of the full package, but 
it does have clean digital audio 
and superb MIDI, The card sup- 
ports DirectSoundSD with 
Creative's EAX (Environmental 
Audio Extensions). However, for 
full effect, you'll need a four- 
speaker setup that can plug into 
the two audio outputs on 
the back of the card. 

The sound 


quality is good, and the DOS sup- 
port works, too. Given Creative's 
marketing muscle, you can expect 
to see a number of games support 
the EAX extensions. 


USB Hub, $89 

ADS Technologies, (562) 926-1928 

www.adstech.com 


WITH THE ARRIVAL OF 

Windows 98 and DirectX 6 , USB 
has finally arrived in earnest. 
Most companies will be shipping 


IMAGINE HAVING TRUE 

Plug-and-Play networking. Plug in 
a device, and the networking is 
live. We've all been waiting to 
put those USB ports on our sys- 
tems to good use. Anchor Chips 
may well have something that 
kills two stones with one bird: a 
USB-based peer-to-peer net- 
work. And since USB devices 
are hot-swappable by design, 
the networking functionality 
disables itself gracefully 
when you unplug the con- 
nected machines. 

Now here's the cool 
part: Reconnect the machines 
and EZ-Link dynamically restores 
networking without a reboot, EZ- 
Link's performance is a bit mixed. It 


new USB controllers or USB ver- 
sions of their existing controllers 
this holiday season. 

While USB is a cool technology 
that makes devices hot-swap- 
pable without the need for a 
reboot, every system maker out 
there still puts USB ports in the 
wrong place: in the back of the 
system. ADS Technologies' USB 
hub gets it right, adding four 
ports to your system and putting 
them where they belong: in the 
front of your system. 


AMD K6-2 Upgrade, price varies 
depending on CPU 
PowerLeap, (877) 278-5327 

www.powerleap.cam 


TIRED OF YOUR 3D 

games running at lOfps? 
Wondering why even with a 
Voodoo^ board, your now-aging 
Pentium 1 33 is still dragging? 
Answer: It's not your 3D accelera- 
tor, it's your CPU. Because the 3D 
graphics pipeline in today's PC 
affects all parts of your sys- 
tem, it can be only as fast 
as the slowest part. 
So if you've got 












mk THEINTEMSORSURVI 


OJ; w ; 


(Because we’re not always going to be there to hold your trembling, sweaty little hand.) 



Be warned: this Is technology with 
a real “punch-you-in-the- 
gut-while-you're-not-looking” 
brand ol sensitivity. 


PART TWO 


Remember, In this chair 
no one can hear you scream. 




There’s never been anything like Intensor. So 
in order to survive it, you need to understand 
a few things. Like to begin with, you need to 
know what a Sensory Gaming Experience is. 
It’s complete immersion. It's intense tactile 


Not everyone will have what it takes to 
handle Intensor’s patented audio system, 
After ail, we’re talking 5 high-performance 
built-in speakers with 108dB output. 
Technically speaking, that means it's really 

.' 1 , 7 . 


feedback. It’s being able to see, hear and feel 
the game you’re playing like never before. All 
you have to do is hook it up to the audio jack 
of any system, play any game and hold on. 
You may also want to say a little prayer. 


loud. So for the neighbors’ sake, you may 
want to use the headphone jack — which you 
can do without losing any tactile feedback. 
But keep in mind — if your ears start bleeding, 
you should probably turn the thing down. 



# 

ITEM ^ 

1 

Left 2” Mid-Range Directional 

2 

Right 2" Mid-Range Directional 

3 

5.25" Center Mid-Range 

4 

5.25" Low Frequency Tactile Driver 

5 

High-Range Tweeter 

6 

Sound Volume 

7 

Tactile lntcn.siiy 

8 

Electronics Unit 

9 

Heavy-Duty Single Cord Connector 

10 

Optional Orilce Chair Base 

11 

Optional Subwoofer 

12 

Headphone Jack 


Fig. 1. A breakdown of wluii you're up aaainsl. 





Fig. 2. At 19 poiouis, Iniensor is deslitned 
for (/nick evacuation in the event thin/'s 
/iei ii/ily. (Shaky hands will ajy/veciate the 
built-in molded carrying handle.) 


College Frat Party 

IQI cIB 






Ducking, dodging, whimpering 
and other usefui gaming skills 
you might want to perfect. 


Be advised. With Intensor, you’ll not only 
hear your games like never before, you'll 
also feel them, In your back, in your legs. 
You’ll feel sensations in places you never 
even knew you had. Which means every 


engine rev, every explosion, every kick will 
seem more real than you may want it to. So 
it’s important to note that under this type of 
extreme duress, screaming in high-pitched 
tones for one’s mommy is quite common, 



T A C Ti I E S E N S AT I 0 NCR A P H 



Kidney Punch Crushed By Falling Piano Torn Apart By Wild Dogs Intensor 



Fig. 4. Arlisl's conception of Sensory ■ Fig. 5. Note: Players attempting to 

Gaming s effect on the human heart. negotiate Intensor on anything 

Those with heart conditions should ' less than a good, stiff spine may he 


proceed at their own risk. reduced to a vegetative state. 


PART FOUR 


Any game. Any system. 

Any medium. After this, nothing 
will ever be the same. 


From movies and CDs to ail your favorite And there's no going back. It’s the gaming 
games, Intensor isn’t just compatible with version of the thousand-yard stare. You'll 
your current system, it actually transforms recognize it in others who’ve "been there!’ 
it. It may also do the same to you, Once Seek them out.Talk to them.This therapeutic 
you take a seat, there’s a new awareness, approach can help preserve your sanity. 



Fig. 6. Intensor has been known to induce shock. In 
such cases, place victim flat on hack, elevate legs 8 to 12 
inches and call for help. (Jf victim begins vomiting, 
place him or her on one side to allow fluid drainage.) 



In the event of neiroiis 
breakdown, seek help at 

www.intensor.com 

Assiiniing you' ve read 
this carefully, proceed to your 
favorite gaming reraiier. 



Go to #235 @ www.computergaming.com/lnfollnk 






THE HOLID, 


100 



7. Suncom 


Controller Pack 


the key {or key combination), and 
release. You can store up to four 
different game setups this way. 


Joystick/Throttle Combo, S90 
Suncom, (847) 229-0002 

www.sunconimc.com 

FLIGHT SIMS OF ALL 

stripes seem to have undergone a 
resurgence in popularity; and a 
high-end flight controller can 
make the flying experience much 
more enjoyable. But the problem 
with many programmable con- 
trollers Is their complexity, not to 
mention their price. 

Suncom's new controller pack 
bundles its F-1 5E Talon joystick and 
Strike Fighter split throttle for only 
90 greenbacks. Toss in a pair of 
rudder pedals and you have a 
great flight-sim setup at a much 
lower price than you might expect. 

The controllers are easy to pro- 
gram — just press a button, press 


OEimajnsiaD 


LX 2-Card Set 


Pure3D-ll LX (x2), S299 
Canopus, (408) 954-4500 

www.canopuscorp.com 

CANOPUS PRIDES ITSELF 
on not being just another refer- 
ence board company. While the 
crowded Voodoo^ field is chock- 
full of reference board clones, 
Canopus' unique design includes 
an internal SLI connector that 
does away with the external VGA 
pass-through cable, and a game 
launcher that allows each game to 
have its own configuration when 
running on Pure3D-li. One down- 
side to the Canopus board when it 
first shipped was its price, but the 



company is now making two of its 
12MB LX boards available for 
5299. PureBD LX lacks a TV-out 
and onboard fan, so the only 
drawback is that the boards may 


not be as tolerant of overclocking. 
Considering how much rendering 
horsepower you're getting for 
$300. though, it's probably a fea- 
ture you can live without. 


A® 


CV-" 




Stuff® 


'/■s 


Logitech MouseMan-i- "Not a creature was 
stirring..." Well, Logitech has stirred things up a 
bit with its new mouse offerings. Logitech's 
MouseMan-f is a four-button mouse with a scroll wheel. 
What's unusual is its shape. The design team at Logitech 
has put a new slant to the whole mouse. The result is a 
comfortable fit that makes driving beth business apps and 
action games effortless. The 
scroll wheel is surprisingly 
addictive since it lets you 
scroll through documents 
and Web pages without hav- 
ing to head over to the appli- 
cation's scroll bar. MouseMan's 
control panel applet lets you eas- 
ily configure all four buttons, scroll 
speed, and general mouse settings, if 
the old gray mouse just ain't what it 
used to be, check out this one. 

MouseMan-h, 559.95. Logitech, (800) 231- 
7717. www.logitech.com. 



COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


I'.computurf’amini'. 








HASBRO 

Interactive 




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play-you won’t be able to walk away. And hey, it’s a lot 
cheaper than a trip to Vegas. 


For more information about Slingo® CD-ROM. please visit our website at www.basbro-interactive.com or call 1-800-400-1352. 

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Any Force Feedhack Wheel I've Ever Used." 


What does engine 
size have to do with 
Force Feedback? 


Everything! 


Bigger engines deliver 
bigger horsepower, torque 
and the ultimate in force 
effects. 


The Ultimate PerAmer« 
Force Feedback* Racing 
System houses the largest 
engine and includes the 
most rugged foot pedals 
of any product available. 

The PerUmer^' Specs 
Beat Everyone 
Hands Down! 


Engine: IBvpmde 

Torque; 3.9 foot lbs 

'.1 I245rpm 

Horsepowers 1 • 


Gear 


Rotio! 






..-.rfO'' 






Move over Microsoft, Thrustmaster 
and ACT Labs. You ali use smailer 
engines. IVas it to save money ? 
Smalier engines generate far weaker 
force effects reducing the excitement 
and reaiismi Don’t be footed. Bigger 
names do not mean better products. 


Twice the power, stronger torque, 
better road grip, superior bandUng, 
precision steering, quicker response 
time, and the most rugged racing 
pedais. This is why we named it "The 
intimate PerAmer*’ Force Feedback 
Racing Wheei.” 




C.A,ILT. Toyata-AtlantIc 
Racing Series 


Andretti Racing 
& Daytona USA" 
Deluxe Included 


013 






AnoUier fine product by SMT Inlematianal, Inc. All rights reserved. 
*I-Pbrce™ Force Feedback Technology Licensed from Immersion 
Coiporetlon. All trademarks are the property of titeir respective owners. \ 


THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 


9^ostoi^^ 
AcoustiK^^ 
635 Speakers 


BA-635S, $99 
Boston Acoustics, 

(877) 333-4001 
www.bostondirect.coni 

COMING IN AT A SCANT 
$99, the BA-635S have got 
to be the sweetest low- 
cost speakers we've heard 
yet. The sound is clean, 
the volume level is 
respectable, and the setup 
is simple. It's easy to find 
desk space for the tiny 
satellites, and the small 
subwoofer tucks into any 
odd corner, The volume 
knob is on the right 
speaker, and the whole 
affair looks way too small 
to be real. But this system 
puts out solid, clean 
sound, has a reasonable 
bass punch, and can get 
pretty loud. 




Xterminator, $49.95 
Advanced Gravis. 

(650) 572-2700 

www.gravis.coTfT ’ 

SOME GAMERS HAVE 

to have a controller for every 
different kind of game they 
play. The upside is a well-fed 
control j'ones.The downside is 
a clutter of controllers littering 
your desktop. Advanced Gravis 
hasn't completely solved this 
dilemma, but the company has 
made a good step in the right 
direction. At first glance, its 
Xterminator controller looks 
like a gamepad, but a closer 
look reveals a more versatile 
controller that can also be 
used as a joystick. You can 
daisy-chain two of these con- 
trolers together, and the unit 
comes with an easy-to-use 
programming front end for 
game-specific configuration. 


Hardware 
on the Horizon 

A lthough there's a 
bevy of good prod* 
ucts to dioose 
from this holiday season, 
it's always a good idea to 
keep an eye on the hori- 
zon for die next genera- 
tion of products. Here are 
a few worth considering. 

Intel is hard at work 
readying its next- 
generation Katmai 
Pentium II processors. 
These will feature Intel's 
clumsily dubbed Katmai 
New Instructions (KNI), 
which should yield 
improved 3D perfor- 
mance in the form of 
higher triangle through- 
put. Game developers 
will either use Direct3D's 
transform and lighting 
(T/L) engine or write cus- 
tom assembly code to 
get at KNI. Katmai is 
scheduled to debut the 
first quarter of 1999, 
with initial speed grades 
of 450MHz and 500MHz. 

We've also heard tid- 
bits about AMD's K6-3 
CPU, which will integrate 
the Level 2 cache into 
the CPU core and allow it 
to run on its own back 
bus at CPU clock speed, 
instead of having to 
share bandwidth with 
system memory and run 
at its speed. We haven't 
heard much about speed 
grades, but since K6-2s 
are now running at 
350MHz, we figure K6-3 
will probably hit 400MHz 
when it debuts. 


womputergaming.c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 199B 









l yejnyaiiaiB^^ 








IlMsnkinkki^^ 








^R4con 


-Johnny Wilson 

Computehg^„,^3 


ACTOR 


CiiiTi lliih my. lin'es'aHiiiii or ihc 
dixoctpr Stiiil hc'd.llini me over lo 
ihc lion lamcrs! Oka>«,.. ''Fit lu > - 
lirnnoA-Ni). ihai's hiji rmhi. “Hi lu 
Briui liildci?” Arghbl! ^ 'J J. 


VINTNOR 


Look at this! I've ijol ijrapes rolling on 
the vine! With iho sliiphuiklL'rs on 
strike, 1 can’.rship my wine to the resi 
of ihc EmpirP. My warehouse is full, 
ami boy do i hQy,e>a:hangover.., ' . 


^ GLADIATOR 

I've goi 10 gel lo ihc Temple of Mars lo 
make a sacrifice before tonighl's conlesl 
in ihe Coliseum, 1 think I'm losing my 
touch. Last night the lions nearly look 
my head off! If only I hadn't missed 
that Iasi lesson at the Gladiator s- 
School... 














^ESAR 


Honor the gods of the Roman 
Pantheon by throwing festivals and 
constructing temples - or you may 
incur their wrath. 


SOLDIER 


March, inarch, Miarth...(H)i lo 
keep on ihe lookoul lor ihe 
Barbarians. Oil yeah, and rumor 
lias ii the Carlhaginian.s may be 
on the move again. Wail! Is thal 
'a camel over iherc? 


Build, rule, and defend on one screen 
no more switching between province 
and battle screens. 


Use the trade map to connect your 
city - and its goods - to the rest of 
the Empire. 


IN STORES NOW! 


Download Ihc demo at 
www.sieiTasLudios.com 


BUILD A BETTER ROME 

mmmm 


^-lERRA 

0 1998 Sierra On-Line, Inc. ® and/or desisnaic 
trademarks of, or licensed to, Sierra On-Line, Inc., 

Bellevue, WA 98007. All Rights Reserved, 

■¥nm . 

r 

Impressions. 





1. BLUE'S CLUES 


ADVENTURE 


jHC/Mac CD-ROM, 529.99 
jHumongous Entertainment, 

|(800) 499-8386 
'ww.humongous.com 

HUMONGOUS HAS DONE 

it again! The folks who brought 
you Pun PUTT, FREDDI FISH, FATTI 
BEAR, PAJAMA SAM, and SPY FOX 
have welcomed yet another mem- 
ber into their clan. This year, the 
company teamed with Nickelodeon 
to create software based on the 
Blue's C/ues television show. 

BLUE'S BIRTHDAY ADVENTURE 
invites preschoolers to join Blue 
and her master. Steve, as they pre- 
pare for the big day. Once kids 
have chosen the game they want 
to play (there are four complete 
games to choose from — a great 
value for S29.95), the singing and 
dancing Steve will appear to help 
them on their quest. As in the 
show, the kooky live-aaion host is 
superimposed over the gorgeously 
rich multitextured environment of 
Blue's world. 

Each game includes a variety of 
activities: Kids can pick out a gift 


for Blue or make a card, 
which will be presented to 
Blue at the birthday party. 

There are puzzles to solve, 
noisemakers to pick up, 
hotspots to click on and, 
most importantly, clues to 
find. As kids discover items, 
store them in their inven- 
tory, and eventually figure 
out how to use them, 
they'll be rewarded with a 
clue — indicated by Blue's 
paw print — which they can 
record in their Handy 
Dandy notebook. Three 
dues and it's off to the 
Thinking Chair with Steve 
to figure out the connection 
between the items. Having solved 
the puzzle, kids are invited to par- 
ticipate in one of four endings; the 
party, pizza making, a treasure 
hunt, or a puppet show. 

BLUE'S BIRTHDAY ADVENTURE 
manages to maintain the distinc- 
tive style and gameplay that made 
the other Humongous titles so 
successful, while taking on the 
unique look and feel of the Blue's 
C/ues series — quite a feat. For 
Blue and Humongous fans alike, 
it's a definite must-have. 


AFTER CORNERING THE 

trivia market with the hilarious, 
adult-oriented YOU DON'T KNOW 
JACK series, Berkeley Systems has 
teamed once again with developer 
Jellyvision.This time, however, the 
younger generation is on the 
receiving end. HEADRUSH follows 
the basic JACK format, with a sar- 
castic, smart-alecky host guiding 
up to three players through a 
series of multiple-choice ques- 
tions, offering caustic commentary 
on their selection of subject or 
choice of answer, and being gen- 
erally insulting and obnoxious. 

The sexual banter of the JACK 
series has been toned down for 
the teen audience, but it hasn't 
been removed altogether. In the 
version we played, there were still 
comments such as "It doesn't 
matter if you win or lose as long 
as you get to play with yourself" 
and categories such as "Duckin 
fugly"; so parents should be 


PGMac CD-ROM, S30 

Berkeley Systems, (800) 234-3088 

www.berksys.com 


aware that this is definitely not for’ 
younger kids. 

The gamer chooses to be repre- 
sented by one of six icons (our 
favorite was a green troll with the 
body of a lizard and teeth that 
Austin Powers would be proud of). 
Grossly amusing animated seg- 
ments introduce each question. In 
one, the camera zooms in on the 
zits on a pasty kid's face to reveal 
the number 10. Bodily functions 
definitely set the tone for the 
game, so those who are easily 
grossed out should beware. 

While some of the questions 
could be loosely called education- 
al ("Which word in the sentence 
'Please lick underneath my sweaty 
armpit' is the preposition?"), most 
are based on extracurricular activi- 
ties (Question: "What's the best 
make-out song?" Answer: '"Don't 
Speak' by No Doubt") and popular 
culture (Leonardo Di Caprio pops 
up, as does Celine Dion). Berkeley 
isn't trying to palm off HEADRUSH 
as an "edutainment" product. It's 
clearly intended as fun, but kids 
are sure to pick up some general 
knowledge along the way. 


$30,0 

^ If the next “Star Wars'"” movie features a 
villain named Darth “Veda,” what will 
audiences MOST LIKELY hear him say to 
Luke throughout the movid? 

1 “Luke. I am your mother.*' 

2 “Luke. I am a cow." 

(5)“Loke. I am a Hind u/' , . 

4 "Luke. I am a 

Cha^i^te 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


■ cornpulrt^aming 






THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 






Children can follow Mulan's jour- 
ney from her home village to the 
army camp, where she disguises 
herself as a man, and on into bat- 
tle. Activities include a Barbie- 
style dress-up gallery, in which 
you can select the perfect outfit 
for both Mulan and Mushu; a slid- 
ing-tile puzzle; various memory 
games; a strategy puzzle; a snow- 
ball fight; and even a game of 
MAHJONG. Ages 6-10. 


6. SIMSAFABI 


'.Windows and Mac CO-ROM, S29.95 
Maxis, (800) 245-4525 

www.maxis.com 

SIMSAFARI ALLOWS 

would-be safari rangers to take 
control of their own African 
wilderness park and camp. Kids 
have to build their park from 
scratch, first deciding where best 
to locate each species so that 
they survive and thrive. Placing 
lions too near to antelopes won't 
result in visible blood and carnage 
(the game is intended for ages 8 
and up, after all), but be prepared 
for carcasses. Children are intro- 
duced to the concept of basic 
resource management, as they 
build and maintain their tourist 
camp, adding amenities as they 
can afford them. They'll also have 
to deal with varied problems that 
include weathering natural disas- 
ters and maintaining the satisfac- 
tion of the local villagers. 


culprit. Kids take on the role of 
detective as they guide their fishy 
friends through an expansive 
underwater kingdom, picking up 
clues and grilling other characters 
about the missing shell. Aimed at 
kids ages 3 to 8, FREDDI FISH 3 still 
holds all the charm of the original: 
The game environment Is filled 
with clickable hotspots, minigames, 
and sing-alongs.And when you've 
solved the case but want to play 
again, you'll find that all the clues 
are hidden in different places. 

QMIMEMMIII] 


STORYBOOK 


PC/Mac CO-ROM, $35 

Disney Interactive, (800) 900-9234 

www.disneyinteractive.com 

IN THIS ADVENTURE 

storybook based on the animated 
film, the gamer is enlisted to help 
Mushu the dragon find and 


3. THE D-SHOW 


4. FREDDI FISH 3 


THE CASE OF THE 


STOLEN CONCH 


SHELL 


PC/Mac CD-ROM, $29,99 
Humongous Enteitainment, 
(800) 499-8386 
www.humongous.com 


PC/Mac CD-ROM, S35 

Disney Interactive, (800) 900-9234 

www.disneyintefactive.com 

FOR PARENTS WHO HAVE 

been forced to watch The Lion 
King video one too many times, 
here's something from Disney that 
both you and your child can 
enjoy. THE D-SHOW offers Mickey 
Mouse fans of all ages a chance 
to test their knowledge of the 
Mouse Empire. 

The game includes more than 
500 trivia questions based on the 
animated and live-action movies, 
songs and soundtracks, television 
specials, theme parks, and charac- 
ters that span the entire Disney 
history. Kids will particularly enjoy 
the Bonus Rounds, which are 
made up of visual conundrums: 
Casting Call requires you to 
match 10 cast members with their 
movies; Picture Perfect is a sliding- 
tile puzzle featuring a Disney 
character; Before and After asks 
you to identify a final character or 
attraction based on its original 


concept art; and Cel-o-vision chal- 
lenges you to match character 
animation cels to their back- 
grounds, Be prepared for the "0- 
Fibulator" round in which you 
must answer True or False to 
statements like "In Bolivia, Pluto 
answers to 'El Perro Loco.'" 

One to three players or teams 
can play on one keyboard, and 
the basic idea is to score more D- 
Bucks than your opponents. This is 
the perfect game to cheer up a 
holiday gathering. It's accessible 
to everyone — kids of all ages will 
be able to show off their knowl- 
edge, as will grown-ups. And per- 
haps more importantly, it won't 
offend anyone! 


deliver five magical scrolls to the 
Emperor in the Imperial City. As 
each scroll is discovered, a portion 
of Mulan's story is revealed. 


ALL'S NOT 

well under the 
sea. Someone 
has stolen the 
Great Conch 
Shell, Uncle 
Blenny has 
been wrongly 
accused, and 
Freddi and 
Luther are out 
to find the real 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


A 










THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 







7. LEGO LOCO 


10. SMALL SOLDIERS: 


9. STARFIRE SOCCER 


SQUAD COMMANDER 


8. CURIOUS GEORGE 


READS, WRITES & 


SPELLS 


Mi 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


vvww.comfniturn.imiMf' emu 


PC CD-ROM, S29.99 
Lego Media, (860) 749-2291 

www.icgo.com 

PARENTS WHOSE FONDEST 

childhood memories stem from 
hours of play with an old train set 
will be glad to hear that Lego 
Media has come up with a product 
that may help you transfer some of 
that enthusiasm to your computer- 
junkie kids. LEGO LOCO enables 
kids to construct a fully functional 
train network, featuring three dif- 
ferent kinds of engines and six 
types of carriages, right on their 
PC. Children can build and expand 
train tracks over several different 
landscapes, take control of points 
and signals, and watch as passen- 
gers board and disembark trains. 
The product also lets kids exchange 
trains carrying messages, sounds, 
or pictures with their friends via 
LAN and Internet. Ages 5 and up. 


PC/Mac CD-ROM, 544.95 
Houghton Mifflin Interactive, 

(800) 829-7962 
www.hniinet.com 

CURIOUS GEORGE HELPS 

first- and second-graders hone 
their skills in reading, spelling, and 


vocabulary as they join the mis- 
chievous little monkey on an 
adventure that takes them to the 
editorial department of a local 
newspaper. Children must help 
George with various tasks based 
on the school curriculum. Activities 
include a WHACK-A-MOLE-type 
game, in which George must spell 
out a word by hitting alphabet 
muffins as they rise; a selection of 
platform and maze spelling 
games; and a variety of fill-in-the 
blank writing assignments. The 
game includes a Parental Control 
tool, which allows adults to adjust 
the difficulty level and focus of 
each activity. 


stocking Sr 




PostPet 
Internet Mail 
Software 
The newest addi- 
tion to the virtual 
pet phenomenon, 
PostPet Internet Mail 
Software provides a safe and fun 
way for children to send and receive email. Kids choose 
one of four pets to live inside their email software. The 
pet will travel back and forth over the Internet carrying 
messages and visiting with the recipients' pets. They'll 
also write a secret diary to their master detailing their 
adventures. PostPet is compatible only with SMTP and 
POP email addresses, and kids will need an 
Internet-savvy parent to help them 
with initial setup. For more 
information, check out 
www.sony.com, sg/postpet. 


PC/Mac CD-ROM, 529.95, 

Purple Moon, (888) 278-7753 

www.purpie-moon.com 

THE WORLD CUP MAY BE 

over, but soccer is still on the 
minds of the girls of Whistling 
Pines High School. Taking its 
"Friendship Adventures" series 
one step further. Purple Moon's 
latest product is a soccer game 
designed specifically for girls. In 
STARFIRE SOCCER success is not 
necessarily about winning the 
game; it's more about the 
experience of being part of a 
team. Following Ginger and her 
friends on and off the field, the 
gamer will learn all about the 
different characters' personali- 
ties and will ultimately have to 
decide who makes the cut. 

Ages 8-12. 


into one of two different plots, 
depending on which side they 
choose to lead. Either way, gamers 
will have to defend themselves 
and their neighborhood against 
enemy fire, while solving problems 
to complete each mission. 

There are plenty of pickups 
hidden throughout the game 
field, including throwable explo- 
sives, health and weapon 
upgrades, and extra team mem- 
bers, but the ground is also laden 
with lethal traps. The user-friendly 
interface helps to make this a 
good first-time strategy game for 
young kids. 


Windows 95 CD-ROM, 529.95 
Hasbro Interactive, 

1508) 921-3700 

www.hasbro-interactive.com 


FANS OF THE MOVIE 


can now exer- 
cise control 
over either the 
community- 
loving 

Gorgonites or 
the militant 
Commando 
Elite in this 
20-mission 
action/ 

strategy game 
targeted at 
boys ages 8 
and up. Kids 
will be thrown 










PCSTRUCTfOM Zm 


Battle acro&s 26 awesome combat arenas to collect over 200 Hedz 
all with unique abilities - some ballistic, some just downright bizarre - 
in this genre busting, surreally funny, full-on 3D game. 
So completely original... it will mess with your HED! 


KEEPING 

\YOURS 


THE 

OTHER HALF 


(HALF 


BATTLE 

rS GETUNC 


A 

^ 1 


liilciudivc 


WIN 95 


See HEDZ @ www.HEDZ.com 
Play “Match the HEDZ" game ami win great prizes! 



biiithcd undur itcodne rrom VIS Intornclivo pic. H.E.D.Z. Hc.-td Eitrumc Dcsuucliori Zone Is a iriHlonuiik ol VIS Inicraciivo pic. » 1997 VIS Inicfacrloc pic. All righic reserved. 

Go to #098 @ www.computergaming.com/infolink 




THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 


Stocking Stuffs 



VDiamondRio 
Music Player 


For Windows 95/98/NT, S199 
Diamond Multimedia, 

(800) 468-5846 

www.dianiondmm.com 

IF YOU'RE A MUSIC BUFF 

with an Internet connection, 
you've probably heard of MP3 
(MPEG Layer 3) files, These are 
highly compressed digital audio 
files that can be downloaded and 
played on your PC at near-CD 
quality. Much of the available MP3 
music consists of garage bands 
and bootlegs, but a number of 
music labels are now experiment- 
ing with selling individual songs 
on the Net, Instead of paying SI 4 
for a CD to get one song, you can 
just download the individual song 
for a buck. 

The biggest problem with MP3 
tunes has been that you needed a 
computer to play them. Now 
Diamond has developed the Rio 
PMP300 Portable Music Player, 
which lets you take MP3 files on 
the road in a player about the size 
of a pager. 

Because the files are stored in 
solid-state memory, the device is 
completely shock-resistant. You 
can jog or operate a jackhammer 
without worrying about your 
Weird Al classics skipping, it's like 



3. Create & Share 


Camera Pack 


Robotics Invention 


System 


a Minidisc, but without the mov- 
ing parts to wear out. 

In addition to finding music on 
the Net, you can also use the 
included software to convert tunes 
from your personal CD collection 
to MP3 format. Thus, you can cre- 
ate mixes of your favorite songs, 
store them on your PC, and down- 
load them to the Rio. Diamond 
claims that the 32MB of memory 
will be good for storing about an 
hour's worth of music. If that's not 
enough, you can bring along more 
tunes on Smart Media cards. 


these things for kids, the base 
price of S200 suggests that 
adults — namely, you guys — are 
more likely to glom onto them. 
The basic MindStorms kit includes 
700 pieces, including touch sen- 
sors, a light sensor, motors, gears 
and a processor. You can build a 
variety of robots to perform tasks 
like dealing cards or freaking 
out your cat. More elaborate 
robots can be constructed 
using other Lego pieces or 
one of the MindStorms 
expansion kits ($50 
each). We can't wait 
to see the evil con- 
traptions that 
await us next 


year in game 

developers' 

offices. 




Windows 95/98, $149 
Intei, (800) 538-3373 

www.intel.com/createshare 


DESPITE A 

name that seems to 
have come from Barney 
the Dinosaur ("Create and 
share, kiddies!"), Intel's 
Create & Share Camera Pack is 
a cool little gadget. This tiny 
camera plugs into your PC's USB 
port and lets you make live video 
phone calls via the internet. Make 
video calls to relatives across the 
country or use it on a home LAN 
so the family can remember what 
Dad looks like when he hasn't left 
his basement flight-sim cockpit for 
days. The package includes an 
impressive bundle of software, 
including movie and still-video 
capture programs, a Web page 
creator with video clip 
support, and an 
image organizer. 
There's even a 
set of ’'video" 


Windows 95 CD-ROM, 5200 
Lego, (800) 510-5773 
www.legomindstorms.com 


SOMEWHERE IN LEGOLAND 

beats the heart of a computer 
gamer. The makers of the world's 
best-loved building blocks have 
figured out how to hook up 
motors and a processor to a Lego 
brick, so you can control robotic 
Lego creations from your 
PC (via infrared port). 

Although Lego envisions 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD ■ DECEMBER 1998 


'.computergaming-c 










You suffer. 
























jAt tha-nsxt sJbn't stend^id We gallery. Sit atop the leader board. Play, 

in the PGA ChaiTip|dhbbip at Sahllee, pr^ cfio'ose from six other world-class courses. You can 
even join an on-line tournament. That's PGA Championship Golf 1 909 Edition, wl\ere 
unparallef^ jTipuSe-bk&e(^ swing'tect^logy and'tncredible'30 graphics recreate the.SF)ort 
of golf from a oasual pund to professional cditnpetition. Ouit watching and start plying. 


From t/ie designer of Links 386'' 

www.sleprasports.com 




PLAYERS 




Looks left. Fires right. SIX how fast and unjpsdictM 

NFL Football Pro '99 le^ you niake the decisions on stur« 

Set your schedwle- Cut the price of ticket^. Battle ^tprfrest of th^ 
action, forget team%anMenient and lay.a hit oh'someone in the i 
for NFL Football Pro '99Kustomized tor your fevorite team. Finallj 


ile life is in tta 
^ng 3D fieldfi^ 
league on-lljp 
Running 3D ^ 
you're callln 







pla^-koSe 


Climb in and go door-to-door with 1998's fastest drivers including Earnhardt, Labonte 
and Martin. The NASCAR Winston Cup, The NASCAR Busch Grand National and the 
NASCAR Craftsman Truck series all in one package. Choose a stock car or truck and 
race on 34 of NASCAR's toughest tracks, including 11 new circuits never before available. 
From Talladega's 190-f- straightaway to running up through the esses at the Glen, 
to the tight oval at Martinsville. Pure racing. Take the challenge: Catch us if you can. 




I 

■ i 


^ '' 

1 








YOU'VE NEVER SEEN AN ALL STAR LINEUP LIKE THIS. 




Play the sport . 


www.sierrasports.com 


©1988 siflpra On-Line, Inc. '' and/on designate irademarks ol, op llcenseil in Sierra On-Line, Inc., Bellevue, WA 88807. All rlBhls reserved. 


THE HOLIDAY HOT 100 





4. Redshift 3 


5. Computer Gaminti World 


the PC, REDSHIFT 3 lets you cre- 
ate your own virtual tour of the 
stars. You can check out the 
destruction wrought by super- 
novas, or view Saturn's awe- 
inspiring rings from the same 
perspeaive as the ancient 
Egyptians. Cutting-edge technol- 
ogy this isn't, and some of 
the screens load a lit- 
tle more slowly 
than we'd 
like. 
Still, 

the tuto- 
rials are 
well done 
(one female 
narrator has a 
delightful British 
accent), and now that 
travel is actually 
again, putting it 
under the tree is likely to 
elicit a surprised smile. 


Windows 95 and 
Mac CD-ROM, S49.95 
Piranha Interactive Publishing, 
(602) 491-0500 

www.piranhainteractive.com 


THE EDITORS AT CGW 

normally shun multi- 
mediocre products 
because they take up 
space on our hard 
drives that could 
better be used for 
games. But we'll 
admit to a 
weakness for 
REDSHIFT 3 
because, 
despite some 
flaws, It’s what 
multimedia should he: 
something fun that you can 
actually do with your computer. 
The latest in a line of astronomy 
programs for both the Mac and 


Do it for Scooter. 


games that let you interaa visu- 
ally with images on the screen. 
Playing basketball by waving 
your hands in the air to grab a 


virtual ball won't keep you 
enthralled for hours, but it's a 
great way to show off your 
computer to friends and family. 


Naked edition (12 issues), S19.97; CD-ROM edition 
(1 2 issues/12 Windows 95/98 CD-ROMs), S29.97. 
Computer Gaming World, 

(800) 827-4450 

www.computergammg.com 


THE HOLIDAYS ARE APPROACHING 

rapidly and, as always, that means we can count on 
several things at the CGIV office. It means that 
staffers will be asking Santa for new NERF weapons 
for those drunken office parties. It also means that 
CG-ROM Assistant Editor Thierry "Scooter” Nguyen is 
going to want to go home to open his presents. 
There's just one problem this year: We won't let him. 
We've decided that Scooter can't go home until each 
and every one of you agrees to subscribe to 
Computer Gaming World, the world's first, 
best, and most reliable gaming magazine. 

It's simple, really. Buy a subscription for 
yourself and all your friends, and 
you'll receive a monthly dose of the 
best and most honest reviews, 
previews, features, strategies, 
and tips in the business. Don't 
buy it, and Scooter spends a 
long, lonely Christmas 
vacation at the office 
with only his force- 
feedback joystick to 
keep him company. 

CGW has been dish- 
ing out the straight 
dope for 17 years, and 
we've only just begun. Who are 
you gonna trust? Some faux-hipster, 
goateed poseurs who think the greatest game 
of all time comes out every year, or the professional, 
steely-eyed staff of CGW Do the right thing. Do it 
for the fanatic gamer in your life. Do it for Scooter. 


/.computergaming.t 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD « DECEMBER 199B 




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fof 


ft Takes All Kinds 

|k 1 ow you know what type of system the person you're buying 
l\l for has, so you can tell If a game will work on it. But you still 
haven't actually chosen a game! We've listed a variety of interests 
below, along with the genres of games that usually appeal to folks 
with those interests. Once you determine the genres to which your 
gift recipient would likely gravitate, check the appropriate section 
of our "Holiday Hot 100" for some can't-lose games. 

INTEREST 

SECTION 

Aircraft, military aviation, ships 

Simulations 

Auto racing, motorcycles 

Racing, Action 

Brainteasers 

Classics & Puzzles 

Card games, classic games 

Classics & Puzzles 

Cars and driving 

Racing 

Children 

Kid's Software 

Computers 

Dungeons & Dragons 

Hardware/Santa's Other Surprises 
Adventure, Role-Playing Games 

Fast-paced action, violence 

Action 

Football, baseball, golf 

Sports 

Mental stimulation 

Classics & Puzzles 

Military History 

Wargames, Simulations 

Politics 

Strategy, Wargames 

Science Fiction 

Adventure, Role-Playing Games 
Space Simulations, Strategy 

Sports 

Sports 

Beanie Babies 

(Forget computer games— 
we suggest an intervention) 




ou have gamers in the 
family, and you know 
nothing would make 
them happier than to 
find some hot new 
entertainment soft- 
ware under the 
Christmas tree. But 
your knowledge of computers 
basically boils down to knowing 
that PCs and Macs are different, 
that you've lost more friends to 
the World Wide Web than to mar- 
riage or children, and that some 
guy name Gates is apparently out 
for world domination. 

You bravely walk into your 
local software store, only to have 
your senses assaulted by brightly 
colored boxes of all shapes and 
sizes. Everything from tanks and 
airplanes to dinosaurs and sev- 
ered limbs vie for your attention. 
How on earth do you choose the 
right gift? 

The Hardware Choices 

The first thing you'll need to 
determine is what kind of computer 
your gift recipient has — and how 
it’s equipped. Of course, doing this 
without giving away why you're 
asking will take some smooth talk- 
ing. You might express interest in 
getting a computer of your own 
and ask what kind of system he or 
she has for comparison. 

Is it a PC. running Microsoft 
Windows, or a Macintosh? This 
determines in which section of the 
store you'll need to shop. PCs and 
Macs use different programs, 
although a very few games will 
include both PC and Mac versions 
on a single CD-ROM. 

Next, you need to determine 
which operating system (the pro- 
gram that controls how the com- 
puter works) your recipient uses. 


On a PC, this will normally be 
Windows 95/98, Windows 3.1, or 
MS-DOS. On a Macintosh, it will be 
System 6, System 7, or MacOS 8. 
Check the system requirements on 
the box of the product you're buy- 
ing to determine which operating 
system it's designed for. 

Most new games are designed 
for Windows 95 and 98. If the per- 
son you're shopping for has a PC 
and is still running MS-DOS or 
Windows 3.1, a system upgrade to 
Windows 98 might be the gift of 
choice instead of a game. Note 
that MS-DOS games will run on 
Windows 95 systems, but setting 
up the computer to run them 
properly can be a complex task. 
Unless the person you're buying 
for is very computer savvy, it's 
best to stick to Windows 95 
games. If the person you're shop- 
ping for has Windows 98, you'll be 
relieved to know that Windows 98 
uses the same software as 
Windows 95. If a game lists 
Windows 95 as a requirement, it 
should work fine on Windows 98. 

Other computer specifications 
that you should determine and 
check against the game's system 
requirements include the following: 

• The amount of RAM (generally 
16MB, 32MB, or more) 

• CD-ROM speed (4x, 8x, or 
faster) 

• The type of processor (486, or 
the faster Pentium and Pentium 
II linthe case of a PC]; or 
68030, 68040, or PowerPC [in 
the case of a Macintosh]) 

• The speed of the processor (usu- 
ally a number ranging from 
90MHz to 450Mhz) 

It's fine if you have more than 
what the box lists for the game's 
requirements; a game designed 
for a 133MHz Pentium with 


16MB RAM should work fine 
on a 266MHz Pentium II with 
64MB RAM. 

Finaliy, if the person you're 
buying for owns a PC, you'll need 
to find out what kinds of add-ons 
the system has. Almost all gamers 
will have the SuperVGA-graphics 
capability required by today's PCs, 
but many of today's hottest 
games require a 3D graphics card 
as well. You'll generally find two 
graphics requirements listed: 
Direct3D or 3Dfx. Direct3D games 
will work on most computers that 


have 3D cards, but games that 
specify 3Dfx will generally only 
work well if the computer is 
equipped with a 3Dfx Voodoo or 
Voodoo^ card. 

A mouse is de rigueurou today's 
PCs, but you will need to determine 
if the game requires a joystick or a 
gamepad. If so, does the person 
you're buying for have one? At 
least there's one less add-on has- 
sle: If you buy a Windows 95 game, 
you shouldn't have to worry about 
what kind of sound card your gift 
recipient has. 



COMPUTER GAMING WORLD ■ DECEMBER 199B 


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Copping a Feel of the Hottest PC Laptops 





LAPTOPS 


A re laptop PCs good 
for gaming? Getting 
straight to the point, 
the answer is yes. . .and no. If 
you're into wargames, strategy 
games, adventures, RPGs, and 
puzzle games, you can find hot- 
rod laptops that will give you a 
good gaming experience no mat- 
ter where you travel. But if sims, 
action, or sports are your thing, 
you'll need to be very selective in 
choosing a machine or you'll find 
that your expensive new laptop 
delivers only a passable gaming 
experience. The good news is 
that we've seen at least one lap- 
top designed, in part, with 
gamers in mind — something we 
hope starts a trend. 


3D: Generation Last 

The problem with gaming on today's laptops boils down 
to one factor: 3D technology. Decent 3D technology has 
finally made its way into portable computers, but laptop 
3D lags at least a generation behind the 3D cards you'll 
find on desktops, and that's bad news for demanding 
gamers. The best laptop 3D cards approximate the perfor- 
mance and quality of an ATI Rage Pro card. If you're look- 
ing forVoodoo^ or RIVATNT performance, you'll have to 
wait a generation or two. And to get even that level of per- 
formance, you'll need to buy a top-of-the-line laptop. 

Nevertheless, many of us need a laptop. We have work 
to do on the road, or we just can't go a day without 
checking our email, playing in our online fantasy football 
leagues, and reading the erudite, reasoned discussions in 
the gaming newsgroups. So if we do have to drop the 
bucks on a portable PC, we might as well find one that 
we can have fun on too, eh? 

In this feature we'll take a look at four laptops that 
have what it takes for various segments of gamers. But 
first we'll take a look at the qualities you should look for 
in a gaming laptop. 


Speccing Out 
Your Laptop 


hat should you look for 
in a gaming laptop? 
Let's take a look at the 
minimum specifications, as well as 
some features that can make the 
system more useful. 

Video 

If you play primarily 2D games, 
you can get excellent performance 
for under $2,000 by buying a fast 
Pentium MMX laptop with only 
2D video. But be warned: 
Adventure, strategy, and RPG 
games are starting to make the 
transition to 3D, and a 2D-only 
laptop might not be good for 
games that ship in late 1999. 

A better move — if your budget 
allows— is to check out a laptop 
with 3D video support. But pro- 
ceed carefully here, too. Even if a 
laptop boasts lofty specs, such as 
AGP and Direct3D support, that 
doesn't mean it's going to be 
good for games. 3D chips like the 
S3 ViRGE MX are such poor per- 
formers that many 3D games will 
revert to 2D mode if that chip is 
present. Other laptop chips 
haven't seen driver updates for 
new versions of DirectX and won't 
appear as 3D cards to newer 
games. Check out the reviews on 
the pages that follow for a look at 
the performance of a number of 
laptop video chips. 

As for laptop screens, there are 
two types of LCD screen available: 
dual scan (DSTN) and active 
matrix (TFT, or thin film transistor). 
DSTN screens are poor choices 
overall. They refresh very slowly, 
and moving objects leave smeared 
trails on the screen, so they don't 
handle game display well. And 
they're not any better on serious 
stuff, since fuzzy text and ghosted 
images make for a display that's 
harder on the eyes, Go for a TFT 
screen, which is sharp and can 
handle fast motion onscreen. 

Unlike monitors, laptops actually 
use physical pixels on the screen. 
This means the laptop will always 
display a single resolution. If you 


run a 640x480 resolution game on 
a laptop with an 800x600 screen, 
it may appear in a letterbox format 
in the center of the screen or it 
may be stretched to fill the screen. 
This stretching is done by doubling 
occasional pixels, and can result in 
very jagged graphics and hard-to- 
read text, Check your laptop and 
see if it allows you to manually 
toggle the stretching on and off. 
This effect isn't as pronounced on 
a 1 024x768 screen and some 
newer units use an antialiasing 
scheme to avoid the problem. 

Today's laptops generally have 
a minimum resolution of 800x600 
pixels, while some high-end mod- 
els offer 1024x768. If you have 
good eyes, the 1024x768 models 
provide more screen real-estate 
for strategy games that support 
higher resolutions (and that bor- 
ing productivity stuff). But be 
aware that you'll probably end up 
running action and simulation 
games in lower resolutions to 
obtain a playable frame rate. 

Processor and Memory 

As is always the case with 
games, the faster the processor 
the better. However, most newer 
games that have hefty processor 
demands also require 3D graphics 
to get good performance. There's 
not a huge difference between the 
speed of a Pentium MMX/266 
notebook and a Pentium II/266 
when you're running STARCRAFT 
or FALLOUT, Of course, if action or 
sims are your bag, then a Pentium 
il/266 or 300 is the processor of 
choice — if you have a fat wallet. 

As for memory, you'll want at 
least 32MB RAM for a Windows 
95 system and 64MB RAM on a 
Windows 98 notebook. More 
memory is almost always better, 
and this is doubly true for note- 
books. When Windows runs low 
on RAM it swaps data out to your 
hard disk, which eats battery life. 
Bumping up to the next level of 
RAM can not only make your 
games run smoother, it can also 



f.computergaming.c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD * DECEMBER 1998 


LAPTOPS 


give you more time between battery recharges. Also note that while 
memory upgrades can be quite expensive from proprietary notebook 
manufacturers, cheaper third-party RAM is available from companies 
such as Kingston (www.kingston.com) and CDCE 
(vvww.cdce.com). 

Miscellaneous Specs 

There are a number of other components to consider when decid- 
ing which notebook to purchase. Perhaps the most important compo- 
nent— one that's crucial to success in so many games— is mouse 
pointer control. Although we've never found a notebook pointing 
device we truly liked, some are definitely better than others. It's 
unfortunate that trackballs— the best choice this side of a mouse for 
gaming — are rarely available anymore, even as options. Our next 
choice is the eraser-style trackpoint found on IBM, Toshiba, and some 
Compaq units. Touchpads just don't offer the precision necessary for 
selecting units in real-time games. Of course, you should also plan to 
pack an external mouse and use It whenever possible. 

Most notebooks ship with at least a 24x CD-ROM, so performance 
isn't a problem. However, you may want to look for a mode! that 
allows you to connect a CD-ROM and floppy drive simultaneously. 
Also, avoid external CD-ROM units, except for the kind that physically 
attach to the bottom of a notebook, With the inhumanely small 
amount of space you're allocated on today's airliners, you'll never find 
a spot for a Discman-style external drive. 

One of the big dilemmas with notebooks in years past was finding 
a way to attach a game controller. Machines with joystick ports were 
few and far between. The units that did have them generally put 
them on port replicators, which weren't exactly meant to be portable. 
The good news is that the vast majority of new notebooks— including 
all the units we tested — have at least one USB port. If you're running 
Windows 98 (Windows 95's USB game-controller support is hosed), 
just plug in a USB joystick or gamepad and you're set. If you have 
legacy hardware you want to use, such as a set of flight controllers, 
go to wvvw.fscentral.com and check out the JC Designs Gamecard 
Pro, a PCMCIA card that adds a 1 5-pin joystick port. 

Finally, consider the battery setup, How long are you going to use 
your machine on battery power? Remember that running a game 
pretty much cancels out most power-saving routines, which depend 
on slowing the system at idle moments. In most games, there are no 
idle moments. Even the huge base battery available for Micron's 
GoBook2, which can last up to eight hours if you're just typing in 
WordPerfect, dies after about four-and-a-half hours running F22 TOTAL 
AIR WAR. If you use your notebook only for short periods of time — 
hour-long commutes or shuttle flights— a single battery is plenty. But 
if you run it constantly during cross-country flights, look for a unit 
that supports multiple, simultaneous battery installation. 

Finally, you should carefully consider why you're buying a gaming 
laptop in the first place. If you think a hot laptop is a cool idea 
because you can network it with your desktop and use it for multi- 
player games when you're not traveling, consider this: For about the 
price of a top-of-the-line Pentium II notebook with a 3D card, you 
could purchase a low-end notebook and a Pentium II desktop system. 
Whenever Intel ups the specs on notebooks processors, you can find 
the low-end being cleared out for under 51,500. And now that the 
low end is a PentiumMMX/20D, even a bargain laptop is no slug. If 
you can be happy playing games that aren't graphics intensive, enjoy 
the budget prices on low-end notebook PCs and invest the savings in 
a hot desktop rig for the home network — or a Hawaiian vacation. 



Dell Inspiron 7000 


Pentium 11/300, 64MB RAM, 

6.4GB hard drive, DVD-ROM 
(2x DVD, 20x CD), 1 5-inch 
display; 9.2 pounds. 

Three-year parts and 
labor warranty. 

$3,499 

Dell, (800) 388-8542 

www.dell.com 

W hen I first started test- 
ing notebooks for this 
feature. I'd come to the 
conclusion that I wasn't going to 
find a unit that would satisfy 
hard-core simulation and action 
gamers, Happily, Dell came in at 
the last minute with what may 
be the first notebook created, in 
part, with gamers in mind, 

Dell has captured a wide mar- 
ket by splitting its desktop mod- 
els between the Optiplex line for 
conservative, information-ser- 
vices types, and the Dimension 
line for performance-oriented 
consumers and IS Mafia-free 
small-business users. Now the 
company is taking the same tack 
with its notebook line, with the 
conservative Latitude series for 
the corporate crowd and the new 
Inspiron series for home and 
small-office users. 


From the looks of the Inspiron 
7000's specs, it appears that Dell 
has covered all the bases for the 
gaming market. It has the fastest 
processor available for notebook 
computers, the Pentium 11/300. 
There's plenty of RAM, 64MB 
expandable to 384MB. And the 
missing link is here: The note- 
book comes with an SMB ATI 
Rage Pro LT graphics card, which 
offers good 3D performance 
(about the level of the original 
3Dfx Voodoo chipset). 

You'll appreciate the 3D 
graphics in all their glory on 
Dell's 15-inch LCD screen, which 
sports a viewable area as large 
as some 17-inch monitors. The 
screen is actually larger than the 
main portion of the notebook; it 
has a "lip" that wraps around 
the lower part of the unit. The 
screen supports 1024x768 reso- 
lution and is sharp and bright. 

But my favorite aspect of this 
screen is that it antialiases lower- 
resolution displays when it 
stretches them. It's the only high- 
res laptop display we've seen 
where you can stretch a game to 
fill the screen without getting 
ugly text and jagged edges. 

The feature list doesn't stop 
there, though. Sound comes via a 





LAPTOPS 



PCI-bus ESS Technologies 
I Maestro-2 chip, which includes 
I hardware wavetable support for 
' good-quality MIDI music output. 
There's a welcome volume dial on 
the side of the unit. As is the case 
I with most notebooks, the speak- 
I ers are pretty anemic compared 
' to even inexpensive desktop 
units, so you’ll want to attach a 
set of external speakers when 
you're gaming at home. 

In addition to an SVGA output, 
the unit also has composite and 
SVideo outputs, which can be 
connected to a television or VCR. 
QUAKE II on the family big-screen 
TV, anyone? A single USB port on 
the back of the unit allows you to 
connect a USB game controller. If 
you need to connect a 15-pin 
game controller, you'll have to 
use a PCMCIA gamecard. 

Ttie keyboard is a full 1 1 inches 
wide, and the keys have a good, 
deep throw. The Synaptics touch- 
pad is good — as far as touchpads 
go — with better precision than 
most, but you'll probably still want 
to use an external mouse when 
you have room. 

The unit I tested had a storage 
module that combines a floppy 
drive with a 2x DVD-ROM. When 
you order a unit equipped with 
DVD rather than CD, Dell includes 
a hardware DVD decoder on the 
system board. While there aren't 
many DVD games at present, this 
capability is great for watching 
movies while traveling. The stor- 
age module can be removed to 
add a second battery, doubling 
battery life to nearly seven hours. 

All this would be impressive in 
any notebook, but in a unit that 
sells for S3,499, we were blown 
away. If that's still rich for your 
blood, don't despair, in the past, 
most notebook manufacturers 
have offered only a couple of fac- 
tory-defined configurations. Dell 
is building Inspirons to order, so 
you can pop up the company's 
Web page (www.dell.com) and 
specify your own CPU configura- 
tion, memory, hard-disk size (up 
to 8GB), CD or DVD, and screen 
size. An Inspiron 7000 with a 


www.computergaming.CQm 


266MHz Pentium II, CD, and 13.3- 
inch screen will run about $2,699. 

The only significant downside 
to the unit is its weight and 
bulk — all this power weighs in at 
a hefty 9.2 pounds. But consider- 
ing that it truly matches the 
power of many desktop gaming 
rigs. I'm willing to look at it as 
free shoulder muscle exercise. 
Kudos to Dell for putting together 
a unit that doesn’t force gamers 
to compromise. 


Micron 

GoBook2 

ik J 

Pentium 11/266, 64MB RAM, 

3.2GB hard drive, 24x CD-ROM, 
12.1 -inch display; 4.4 pounds. 
Five-year warranty on memory and 
CPU, one-year parts and labor war- 
ranty on other components 
(three-year parts and labor 
warranty, SI 99). 

$2,949 (base battery 
additional $299). 

Micron, (800) 209-9686 
www.micronpc.com 

T he GoBook2 is worth a look 
if you want a powerful but 
light notebook or maximum 
battery life. Packing a 266MHz 
Pentium II and all the usual bells 
and whistles into a slim, 4-pound 


DirectX3, which could be the 
problem. This brings up another 
dilemma with notebooks; You 
don't generally see the frequency 
of video driver updates that you 
find for desktop cards. 

It's a shame the 30 support 
was unworkable, because the rest 
of the unit’s design is top-notch. 

A single bay lets you plug in a 
24x CD-ROM drive, floppy, or 
internal battery. Note that you'll 
need the optional base battery to 
use your CD-ROM drive on bat- 
tery power. Micron includes a 
cable that lets you use the floppy 
drive externally. 

The keys have a deep throw, 
giving the GoBook2 the most com- 
fortable typing experience of the 
notebooks we've tested. Three pro- 
grammable keys sit next to a won- 
derful invention — a one-touch 
speaker on/off button. You'll love 
this simple but marvelous device 
when you forget to plug in your 
earphones before launching QUAKE 
at full volume on a night flight 
There's a good amount of wrist 
rest area surrounding the touch- 
pad pointing device. Even the 
unit's case finish is impressive — 
it's a notebook that wouldn't be 
out of place in Darth Vader’s study. 

If battery life or maximum 
portability are your top concerns, 
and you can live without 3D 
hardware support, the GoBook2 
is worth a close look. 


Get Connected 

I f you plan to connect your lap- 
top to a desktop PC for multi- 
player gaming, you'll find a 
varied of networking solutions 
available. 

first, there's the traditional 
method of using standard 
Ethernet cards. That's the solution 
popular with CGkV editors for 
home networks. Purchase an ISA 
or PCI combo Ethernet card for 
your desktop PC and a 10-Base-2 
PCMCIA card for your laptop, and 
you can connect ttie two effort- 
lessly using simple coaxial cable, 
without having to purchase a net- 
work hub at extra expense. 

if both your laptop and desktop 
are equipped with USB ports, you 
might want to check out Anchor 
Chips' EZ-Link USB networking 
solution. It’s not the fastest con- 
nection out there, but it's relatively 
inexpensive and it doesn't use a 
slot For a full review, see the 
October issue of CGW. 

Although we haven't gotten a 
look at it yet, we're intrigued by 
Diamond's HomeFree, a IMB/sec- 
ond wireless radio networking 
solution. For $229 you get a 
combo starter pack, which 
includes a PCMCIA card for your 
notebook and an ISA card for 
your desktop. Internet-sharing 
software is also included, so if 
you have a fast connection to the 
Internet, multiple HomeFree users 
can access the Web and latency- 
insensitive multiplayer games 
simultaneously. We'll have a 
hands-on test in an upcoming 
issue, but in the meantime check 
out www.diamondmm.com/ 
homefree for more information. 



package, this unit is no light- 
weight in the power department. 
And with an optional base bat- 
tery, which adds a pound of 
weight but gives 4.5 to 8 hours 
of power on top of that provided 
by the internal battery, it's the 
perfect choice for overseas 
flights or camping trips. 

Unfortunately, while the 
GoBookZ's NeoMagic graphics 
chip claims DirectSD support, you 
couldn't convince any of the 
games we tested of that. As far 
as our test suite was concerned, 
it was purely a 2D chip. We tried 
the latest drivers and tried 
updating to DirectXG to no avail. 
NeoMagic's Web page proudly 
touts support for DirectX2 and 



ITS not the size of your weapon that counts .. . 


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LAPTOPS 



Toshiba 
Satellite 
Pro 335CDT 


Pentium MMX/266, 32MB 
RAM, 4GB hard drive, 20x 
CD-ROM, 12.1 -inch display; 

6.5 pounds. 

Three-year parts/one-year 
labor warranty. 

31,799 (street), $1,599 

for dual-scan model. H|HH| 

Toshiba. (888) 598-7802 

www.computers. 

toshiba.com 

A s we've pointed out, if you're not 
iooking to play action or simula- 
tion games on your notebook, a 
Pentium system may be all you need. 
Toshiba's Satellite 335CDT packs a 
266MHz Pentium II processor, a sharp 
TFT screen, and an Internal CD-ROM 
drive — ail for just under $1 ,800. 

The 335CDT uses Intel's 266MHz 
Pentium MMX processor, a design avail- 
able only for notebooks. And from our 


experience with this notebook, we can 
see why the chip wasn't released for 
the desktop — it comes fairly close to 
the performance of its Pentium II coun- 
terpart in real-world applications. If 
you're looking for a productivity 
machine that will run 2D games, the 
335CDT is a bargain. 

Although the unit is bulky, it has nice 
ergonomics. Toshiba's long experience 
in building notebooks shows in nice 
touches, such as a cover for the power 


The Ultimate 
Controller for the Road? 


U SB game controllers don't exactly glut the market 
at the moment, but there's one that Is particularly 
suited for gaming on the road. Microsoft's 
Sidewinder Freestyle Pro includes a USB adapter and 
functions well on the laptops we tested. The Freestyle Pro 
I is intriguing as a 
. portable device 

'''--ft*,. because it can 

a ^ ^ ^ function as a joy- 

y®*- 

' 1 • ■ M 

♦ H L a gamepad. Add 

■ ]£' its gamepad- 

emulation mode 

— 1 and you have a 

flexible controller solution for when you need to travel 
light. For more info on the Freestyle Pro, see our October 
issue (CGM/#1 71). 

The latest version of the SideWinder Precision Pro joy- 
stick also includes a USB adapter, but it's a bit bulky to 
take on the road. 


On the Bench 


Computer 

Compaq Armada 7800 
Micron GoBook2 


SDGameGauge F22ADF QUAKE 11, 640x480 QUAKE 11, 320x240 CPU WinMark 

n/a 35.05* ' ' 15.1* 29.8*~ 680 

n/a' 17.2* 13.4* 28.1* 683 


Toshiba Satellite Pro 335CDT n/a 

Dell Inspiron 7000 169 


'Software graphics, no 3D acceleration 


Computer 

Compaq Armada 7800 
Micron GoBookZ 
Toshiba Satellite Pro 335CDT 
Dell Inspiron 7000 


FPU WinMark 

1,370 

1,360 

1,020 

1,540 


Business Graphics Business Disk CD-ROM Battery Life 

115 1,040 1,140 ' 1 hr.SOmin. 


'.cofnpotergaming.com 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD « OECEMBER 1998 



1,140 

1 hr. 50 min. 


1,400 

4 hr. 22 min. 



When you win more than a dozen awards 

for 3D graphics, you don’t need an ad. 

You need a speech . 


Write a kick ass acceptance speech for Real 3D, 
and you could win a StarFighter- powered HSDMHz 
Micron Millennia Pentium II system. 




I switch to prevent inadvertent 
I power oHs.The keyboard has a 
I good wrist rest and a central point- 
I ing stick; above it are the best- 
I sounding stereo speakers of any 
I unit in this roundup. The earphone 
I jack is conveniently placed on the 
I side of the unit next to a volume- 
I control dial. The unit is bundled 
with a 56K PC-card modem. The 
I unit includes integrated floppy and 
I CD-ROM drives, so you don't have 
I to swap one out to use another — a 
I nice touch. 

Toshiba bundles a wide variety of 
I software with the unit, some inter- 
esting and some superfluous, Out of 
the box, the Start menu scrolls off 
the screen, so plan to spend a bit of 
I time cleaning up the hard drive. 

On the video front, since the C&T 
I graphics chip doesn’t make any 
I claims of 3D capabilities, it's not 
setting you up for disappointment. 

I Performance is fine for games like 
STARCRAFT and TOTAL ANNIHILA- 
I TION, and business software perfor- 
I mance is fine. 

The 335CDT doesn't shoot for 
I the stars, but what it does, it 
does well. If you're looking for 
a reasonably fast notebook for 
I productivity and a bit of gaming 
1 on the side, Toshiba delivers here 
I at a moderate cost. 


Compaq 
Armada 7800 

★ ★ ★ Ar 

Pentium 11/266, 64MB RAM. 

8GB hard drive, 24x CD-ROM, 14.1-inch 
display; 8.6 pounds. 

Three-year parts and 
labor warranty. 

$4,275 (street). 

Compaq. (800)345-1518 
wvwv.compaq.com 

■ wanted to love the Armada 7800. 
After all, on top of the Pentium 11/266 
processor, huge 14.1 -inch screen, and 
built-in everything, the unit also promised 
a 3D-accelerated graphics chip sitting on 
an AGP bus. This seemed like it could be 
the ultimate gaming notebook. 

Alas, it was not to be. It turned out that 
Compaq had put an S3 ViRGE MX "30" 
chip on the Armada's AGP bus — ^the equiv- 
alent of letting a Ford Fiesta loose on an 
Indy car track. When I tried to run 3D 
GameGauge on the unit, INCOMING posted 
a whopping 12.8 fps, while TUROK actually 
took more than a second to render each 
frame. F22 ADF would run in 3D mode, but 
textures that were supposed to be trans- 
parent were black, so sun glare would pro- 
duce a series of opaque rectangles. 

In another bad design decision. Compaq 
put the keyboard right up against the front 





SilUJSi 

MULTIMEDIA SPEAKERS 


WWW.AIWA.COM/MM | 1 • 8 0 0 • 9 2 0 - 2 6 7 3 





LAPTOPS 



NEC MobilePro 750C 


Oil, Say Can You CE? 


I f you're pricing notebooks not because you spend much 
time gaming on the road, but because you need a produc- 
tivity unit for travel and you figured you could use it as a 
second gaming rig at home, let us suggest an alternative, Why 
not get a Windows CE unit, which offers Web and email 
access, Word and Excel, and basic gaming functionality, and 
then spend the rest of the money on a full-blown desktop PC 
for the home network? 

NEC's MobilePro 750C is the first Windows CE machine 
I've seen that I really enjoy using. Instead of tiny chiclet keys 
or unreliable handwriting recognition, the 750C includes an 
actual touch-typeable keyboard. It's a little cramped, but 
after about 1 5 minutes of practice I was up to about 60 
words a minute. 

For your on-the-road productivity, the unit includes stripped 
down versions of Word, Excel, Outlook, and Internet Explorer. 
There's a built-in 33.6K modem, 1 6MB of RAM, VGA output, 
and an 8-hour rechargeable battery. 

As for gaming, while Windows CE can't match the selection 
and quality of games found on the PaImPilot, there are a 
growing number of available games (mostly arcade and 
adventure). You'll find many newer games support the 750C's 
256-cotor, 640x480 screen. The games are mostly arcade 
games and adventures, but with the MobilePro's street price 
of under $800, you'll have plenty of cash left over to spend on 
a hot desktop PC. 





re to shop 


Feel The Force! 

Best 

Force Feedback 
JoystickS(|;gg 95 

3Dfxi2Tnb{|;i39.95 

Voodoo2 


edge of the notebook, leaving no 
wrist rest area. This makes typing 
uncomfortable in many situations. 
It's a shame because the full-width 
keyboard has a good feel other- 
wise, and the embedded eraser- 
style pointing stick works fairiy 
well in games. 

Other than a disappointingly 
short 1 -hour, 50-minute battery iife 
on our game torture test, the rest 
of the Armada design is actually 
impressive. The unit has a buiit-in 
33.6 modem (upgradabie to 56K) 
and Ethernet, four programmable 
function keys, good speakers, sup- 
port for an optional DVD ROM, and 
a beautiful 14,1 -inch screen (which 
supports up to 16 million colors). 
Processor performance was quite 
good, and the graphics turned in 
good 2D performance. 

The Armada has some good 
points mixed in with the bad. But 
for a street price of better than 
4Gs, we expect darn near perfec- 
tion. While previous Armadas have 
crossed over weii into the enter- 
tainment world (the superb 4000 
series was the top choice in our 
iast notebook roundup), this one is 
purely for the suits. 


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L«ad your armies into battle on 
a highly detailed interactive map that 
recreates all WWIl theaters of war. 


Realistic graphics, sound effects, 
and tons of World War II footage 
bring the battle to life. 


Wage war over LAN, modem-to-modem 
or the Internet via Microsoft's 
Internet Gaining Zone. 


CD-ROM 

For more information about Axis & Allies CD-ROM, please visit our website at www.axisQndallies.coni or call 1 -SOO-^OO-1 352 

©1998 Hosbco Inleradive, IncyHosbro, Iol All Rights Reserved. 

Go to #288 @ www.computergaming.com/lnfolink 


YOUR STRATEGY. YOUR WAR. 


Think you've got the strategic skills to challenge some of the greatest military minds of all time, soldier? 

It's 1998 and World War n is about to begin. But this time, the outcome is up to you. 

Axis & Allies, the classic strategy game, is now on CD-ROM. 

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Bg by Loyd Case 

Mtt I A I ^ difference a month makes. Last issue, 
\j\j we took a look at Matrox's Mystique G200 
HR V W and found it to be a solid 2D card with very 
w^R respectable 3D performance. Since then, several new 
3D accelerator chips have shipped that, at least at the 
’^3^ superficial performance level, leave the G200 chip 
far behind in terms of 3D. They even outstrip it in 2D 


|!| performance. 

In this issue, we'll take a look at some of the brand-new 
^ boards that will take us to the next level in 3D accelera- 
... tion. An interesting trend in 3D graphics is emerging: the 
ij use of low-cost, 16MB boards. It wasn't all that long ago 
g that PCs shipped with only 1 SMB of RAM. Now we're 
p seeing graphics cards with 16MB of local video memory 
ii for well under $200 — thanks to the wonders of com- 
y; modity pricing. In fact, one board in our roundup supports 
jj a whopping 32MB of RAM! Read on for more.... 


Jl 

ir !■ 

A 



■'C' 



fjOZ 9086 



3D TO DIE FOR 


Shipping Products 

T hese boards represent products that were shipping or about to ship when we did our testing. They include three 
RIVA TNT boards, a couple of Banshee products, the Hercules Terminator Beast, and the new boards from Matrox. 




Matrox Marvel G200 


Matrox Millennium G200 


A ★ ★ A A 

T he Marvel G200 is just a bit 
siower than the Miliennium 
G200, which Matrox attributes to 
the use of slower SDRAM on the 
Marvel. Despite the lack of speed, 
this card is quite versatile. Think of 
it as the sport utility vehicle of 
graphics cards. It won't get you 
there as fast as a funny car, but 
you can really load it up. 

Inside the Marvel G200 package 
is a blue, contoured plastic box 
that connects to the back of the 
Marvel G200.The box contains 
connections for video-in and video- 
out, audio-in and audio-out (includ- 
ing cable connection) and a cable 
TV or antennae input. The Marvel 
G200 uses the Zoran motion JPEG 
CODEC chip to capture and com- 
press video at resolutions at 30fps 
at 704x486 NTSC. We looked at the 
Marvel G200 TV (available only in 
North America), which also has an 
onboard TV tuner. The blue break- 
out box. which connects to the 


card via a three-foot cable, makes 
connections to camcorders, VCRs, 
and cable TVs much easier. This is 
truly a "convergence" graphics 
accelerator. The only thing you 
might want to add to it is a hard- 
ware DVD decoder, available sepa- 
rately. Matrox tosses in a copy of 
Avid Cinema, a handy nonlinear 
video-editing package formerly 
available only on the Macintosh. 

Until now, the ATI All-in-Wonder 
Pro had the field virtually to itself, 
but the Marvel G200 ups the ante 
for this type of Swiss Army Knife 
product. And if the 3D perfor- 
mance isn't quite up to the com- 
petition, you can always toss in a 
Voodoo^ card. 

Marvel G200 TV. $349 for 
16MB; $299 for SMB. Matrox, (514) 
822-6320. www.matrox.com 

Pros: Pretty good overall per- 
former; lots of video goodies added 
m; good image quality; nice video 
editing package. 

Cons: Performance doesn't stack 
up well against the competition. 


A . 

T he Miliennium G200 is a testa- 
ment to how fast this industry 
moves. A year ago it would have 
easily been the top performer. This 
year, it's an also-ran, barely 
squeaking ahead of the RIVA 
128zx-based V3000ZX card. Even 
during the summer of 1998 it was 
the performance leader in 2D/3D 
graphics accelerator for con- 
sumers. So it's really a fast 
board — it's just that it's slower 
than all the others out there. With 
a 3D GameGauge score of 293 on 
CGW's 450MHz Pentium II 
testbed, the Millennium G200 is 
one of the weakest game perform- 
ers in the roundup. We had to use 
Matrox's OpenGL/Direct3D wrap- 
per, since the company's ICD 
wasn't quite ready, so the score 
may improve a bit in the future. 
However, given the G200's perfor- 
mance in other Direct3D games, 
we don't hold out hope for much 
improvement. 

The Millennium G200 does 
show good image quality, espe- 
cially at true-color resolutions. 
However, even the Matrox's 


www.compulefgaining.com 


vaunted image quality falls down 
just a bit, as evidenced by 3D 
WinBench 98's trilinear MIP- 
mapping quality test. This version 
of the G200 supports up to 16MB 
of SGRAM and has a 250MHz 
RAM DAC, which makes it a good 
solution for professional 2D graph- 
ics users who want decent 3D per- 
formance. The Millennium G200 
would make a good partner for a 
Voodoo^ card, but it really can't 
keep up with the new competition. 

Millennium G200. $229 for 
16MB; $149 for SMB. Matrox, (514) 
822-6320. www.matrox.com 

Pros: High resolution 2D support; 
good add-ons; good image quality. 

Cons: Slow when compared to 
other cards; even its 2D performance 
is no longer leading edge. 


AMD^ 


PML 


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STB Velocity 
4400 

■k ik -k 'A Ti 

S IB has always been bullish on 
the RIVA line of chips, and the 
company's early support for the 
TNT chipset continues this trend. 
The Velocity 4400 is a capable TNT 
board with the added bonus of a 
nice, built-in Tweak utility that 
allows you to alter quite a few 
settings of the TNT chip. (There's 
no clock-rate adjustment, though.) 
You can change the OpenGL 


gamma, adjust auto MIP-map 
levels, and use other features. 

The Velocity 4400 placed 
second in our testing. The Viper 
edged ahead in synthetic bench- 
marks, whereas the Canopus 
Spectra 2500 eked out a slight 
margin in 3D GameGauge — 
essentially there was no difference 
between the two. STB’s image 
quality was flawless, whereas the 
Spectra 2500 munged the text 
status bar in 3D WinBench — a 
throwback to the early days of the 
RiVA 128. 1 didn't notice any of 
the 2D text fuzziness that was 
apparent with some of the early 
RIVA 128 boards. 

The software bundle is interest- 
ing, too. There's a full version of 
FORSAKEN, but this version has 
been enhanced to support 32-bit 
color modes at resolutions up to 
1 280x1 024. STB also ships with 
Colorific, for color matching and 
management: 3D Sensations, an 
effects generator for PowerPoint; 
and a pair of Assymetric tools for 
3D graphics and video editing. 

The Velocity 4400 is a balanced 
RIVA TNT board with good image 
quality, an interesting bundle, and 
a terrific little control panel. 

Velocity 4400. SI 99 (for 16MB). 
STB Systems, (972)234-8750. 
www.stb.com 

Pros: Great control panel; nice 
bundle; solid performance. 

Cons: It can't run Glide. 


Diamond Viper 550 


kkkk 

N vidia's RIVA TNT board is the 
hottest ticket in the 3D chip 
arena (this month, anyway). The 
TNT has dual rendering pipelines 
and advanced DirectX6 features 
such as bump mapping and stencil 
buffering. It has all the image- 
quality goodies that make for beau- 
tiful 3D rendering — and it's fast. 

The Viper 550 is Diamond's TNT 
card. It's what we would call a 
good benchmarking card. It got 
the highest scores of all the cards 
on the synthetic benchmarks 
(WinBench 98, Business WinMark, 
and 3D WinBench 98). However, it 
slipped to third place in 3D 
GameGauge, though just by 
a few points. 

Like all Diamond products, the 
Viper 550 comes with the compa- 
ny's InControl utilities, which have 
some nice goodies, such as a 
virtual pop-up of the Start Menu. 
However, the 3D control panel is 
more superficial than useful. Like 
almost all the cards in the 
roundup, the Viper allows you to 
turn off V-sync.The tearing you 
get from having V-sync off looked 
pretty minimal — rather like 
Voodoo^. 

The Viper 500 is faster than a 
single Voodoo^ though it's not up 
to Voodoo^ SLI. On the other 
hand, it has a SI 99 list price. 


The Viper 550 has TV-out, which 
works without having to discon- 
nect the computer monitor. There's 
a bundle that includes MOTOR- 
HEAD and some productivity apps. 
All in all, the Viper 550 is a fast, 
smooth implementation of the 
TNT chipset. 

Viper 550. S199 (for 16MB). 
Diamond Multimedia. (800) 468- 
5846. www.diamondmm.com 

Pros: Polished utilities; 
good performance. 

Cons: 3D control panel 
isn't that useful. 


3D TO DIE FOR 




Hercules Terminator Beast 


^■ki 

T he Terminator Beast is an inter- 
esting board in that it's the only 
S3 Savage3D-based board in the 
roundup. Savage3D is S3's try at 
some 3D redemption in the wake of 
its poorly performing 3D on the 
ViRGE series. If the Beast is any indi- 
cation, this attempt at redemption is 
mostly successful, but it falls just 
short of being a complete success. 

For starters, the Beast supports a 
maximum of 8MB of video memory. 
S3 will counter with its texture com- 
pression scheme, recently adopted 
by Microsoft for DirectXG. The fact 
is, though, that not all games will 
use texture compression, so you fail 
back on the AGP bus. And while 
AGP is relatively fast compared to 
PCI, it's not as fast as local video 
memory. Maximum 3D resolution is 
limited, too, and as more games 
support triple buffering this will 
become a bigger problem. 

Another controversial issue is the 
Beast’s capability to automatically 
precompress textures In games that 
don’t support texture compression. 
We ran 3D GameGauge and 3D 
WinBench with autocompression on 
and off (the benchmark numbers are 
with compression o^. We squinted 
and watched carefully and didn't 
notice any serious artifacting on the 
fly. Curiously enough, the Beast 


comes with presets for the various 
3D GameGauge DirectSD games. 

OpenGL support is through both 
an ICD and a direct-to-the metal 
mini-GL driver. Tbe ICD is slower, but 
supports full OpenGL functionality, 
while the mini-GL driver is tuned for 
QUAKE li-based games. We used the 
mini-GL driver for our testing. We did 
notice some odd artifacting with 
Direct3D games on the 450MHz 
testbed — white dots that would 
appear in a regular pattern — this 
was not an encouraging sight. 

in addition, the transparent name 
boxes in MOTORHEAO disappeared 
when running on the Terminator. We 
also had some setup problems on 
an Abit-equipped 300MHz Pentium 
II that were solved only by getting a 
new motherboard BIOS update. The 
board is fast, placing between the 
TNT and Banshee boards in 3D 
GameGauge scores. The 2D 
WinBench score essentially tied the 
ASUS board for last place. 

Overall, the Terminator Beast is a 
modest board with ambitious goals 
that it doesn't quite meet. 

Terminator Beast. S 149 SMB 
SGRAMwith TV-oul, SI 29 SMB 
SDRAM no JV-out. Hercules, (510) 
623-6030. www.hercules.com 
Pros: S3 Texture 
compression, low cost. 

Cons: Slow 2D, limited memory, 
minor image quality issues. 


Canopus Spectra 2500 


k k k k 


may improve 2D text quality 
a bit. There will also be an 


C anopus launches a new 
product name with the 
Spectra 2500, which is a RIVA 
TNT board distinguished by its 
compact size and the presence 
of a small fan on the RIVA TNT 
chip — something they started 
with the Pure3D II. 

The Spectra 2500 generated 
the highest 3D GameGauge 
score of the roundup, though 
the STB lagged by an insignifi- 
cant amount. However, an 
image-quality problem cropped 
up in 3D WinBench 98 — the 
text status bar was garbled in 
many of the scenes. We didn't 
see any serious artifacting in 
the games used in our testing, 
but this kind of problem is a bit 
worrisome. Let's hope it's some- 
thing that can be fixed with a 
driver revision. The Spectra con- 
trol panel covers a lot of bases 
(though not as many as STB’s 
tweak panel) but it's somewhat 
disorganized. 

The Spectra 2500 is built to 
coexist with 3Dfx add-on 
boards. There's an internal 
reverse pass-through for 
Canopus Voodoo^ cards and an 
external reverse pass-through 
for other Voodoo^ products. This 


optional daughtercard that 
supports vIdeo-in. Canopus is 
working on wider distribution, 
so you may be able to find a 
Canopus product easier than in 
the past. 

Like all Canopus products, the 
Spectra 2500 puts its own 
stamp on what might otherwise 
be a commodity product. 
However, it still needs a bit of 
fine tuning. 

Spectra 2500. S 199 for 16MB. 
Canopus Corp., (408) 954-4502. 
WWW. canopuscorp. com 

Pros: Fast in games; reverse 
pass-through for Voodoo; fan. 

Cons: Potential 
quality 


^.computergaming.c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD « DECEMBER 1998 











It's up to you— and your Bf109G —to intercept a squadron of Allied B-17's headed straight 
for Berlin. Experience real dogfights in the Battle of the Ardennes over WWII Belgium. 
Where there's nothing between you and the enemy except your ability — and stubborn 
determination. You'll fly one of 7 different WWII fighter planes. Allied or Axis, the choice is 
yours. And it's all historically accurate, with true-life graphics including 13 planes, flak — 
even detailed bridges. Jane's' WWII Rghters. It's authentic seat-of-your-pants flight sim 
excitement. Where you do the flying. No backup computers — and no second chances. 


m 


Vr’ ■ .. ■ 



reserres. 


N# choice. 








We BuWSimsBYlhB Book and Bewonic Arts are iradeniarks or regowredlfadamjrks of Bectrctiic Anslii UieU.S-and/orodiBr countries. Jane%* is a resisUredtrademaikaf Jane^ 
Information Group, LTD, Jana's Combat Simulations is an Bectronic Arts* Brand. Photograph by John M. Dibbs. 


No compromise in accuracy, fly the best fighters No comouterized instruments here. The corAoit Nn rifitnii is rnn small lane's nmnhirs a, 


surrexL^er. 


bjp-- 








3D TO DIE FOR 



CGW's Image Quality 

Hall of Shame 

A ll the makers of the various chips and cards are 
touting their image quality. For the most part, 
image quality has improved, and we're happy that it 
is now a major consideration. Even so, we ran across 
some quality issues, some worse than others. 


All Boards Using 
3Dfx's Voodoo Banshee 
Notice that the Banshee dithers 
between MIP-Maps in 3D 
WinBench 98's MlP-map tests. 
Holy 1740, Batman! 


Matrox G200 (all boards) 
Matrox's blues seem to go on forever. 


STB Velocity 4400 
Here's how it's supposed to be done. 


COMPUTER GAiVMNC WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


.^.computergaming.f 



3D TO DIE FOR 


The Glide Factor 


F or a game to take advantage 
of a 3D accelerator, it 
requires a way for the software 
to get at the 3D accelerator's 
functionality. This junction is 
called an API (applications pro- 
gramming interface). 

Choosing the right 3D accelera- 
tor is complicated by the wide- 
spread adoption of a proprietary 
API. 3Dfx's Glidft which made a 
lot of sense a couple of years ago. 
DirectBD was pretty pathetic, 
and OpenGL support wasn't yet 


widespread. We're starting to see 
a waning of Glide-only games 
(most new titles that have Glide 
support will also support either 
Direct3D or OpenGL), Still, there 
are a lot of existing Glide-only 
titles, and there are still a few key 
games showing up every day — 
INDEPENDENCE WAR, for example, 
If you're buying a new system, 
the best gaming rig you can get is 
one with a fast AGP 2X board, like 
one of the RIVA TNT boards, and a 
Voodoo^ card. If you're really 


hard-core, you could always add a 
second Voodoo^ board for SLI. but 
that's excessive for most use5. 

If you're buying a new system 
and you already have a Voodoo 
board, there's probably no reason 
to upgrade to Voodoo^ . Get a TNT 
board instead. With multitexture 
support in both DirectXG and 
OpenGL, as well as impressive 2D 
speed, TNT covers quite a few 
bases, and you can use the 
Voodoo board for Glide titles. 

Banshee throws an interesting 
wrinkle Into the equation. It's 
reasonably fast in DirectBD and 


OpenGL, but it's no replacement 
for Voodoo^ . On the other hand, if 
you're on a fairly tight budget, 
Banshee looks pretty promising, 
although there seem to be a few 
early glitches widi Glide — but 
perhaps no more so than Voodoo^ 
had when it shipped. Banshee 
also doesn't support single-pass 
multitexturing. On the upside, it is 
not a Voodoo Rush redux, since 
Banshee's 2D performance is quite 
good. So Banshee's a good bud- 
get solution; It offers Glide sup- 
port, although it doesn't equal 
TNT in overall performance. 




Hercules Terminator Beast 
Ounno where these white dots 
came from (above). Maybe it 
decided to start snowing? 


Canopus Spectra 2500 
Come on, I don't need new glasses 
yet (below). Note the text status 
bar at the bottom. 


.'.coniputerg.milng,! 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER tags 



3D TO DIE FOR 


ASUS V3000ZXTV 



The V3000ZXTV is cheap, supports 
TV-in, and has performance that would 
have been leading edge a year ago. 




I n a time when Banshee and 
TNT boards are being 
announced seemingly by the 
truckload, ASUS has shot squarely 
behind the moving target and 
released a RIVA 128zx board. The 
good news Is that it's cheap 
($129 MSRP). But compared to 
the current generation of cards, 
it's slow and suffers the now- 
famlliar image-quality problems 
seen with the RIVA 128 series. 

There's not a lot to say about 
the VSOOOzx. It's slower in 2D and 
3D GameGauge than all the other 
shipping cards. It's cheap, supports 
TV-in, and has performance that 
would have been leading edge a 
year ago. It comes bundled with 
Rage Software's INCOMING and a 
modest video-capture tool. All in 
all, there are better cards out 
there for just a few bucks more. 

Asus V3000ZX7V. $129. 

ASUS USA, (510) 739-5 
wvm.asus.com 
Pros: Cheap; TV- 
in and TV-out. 

Cons: Performance, 
image quality. 


Speed is the Key 

T here are several trends evolving in computer games that should 
shape your decision when considering a new graphics card. One 
important trend is multitexturing support. More games are 
doing multipass rendering in which textures are 
blended together. This results In more realistic 
surfaces and better lighting/shadow effects. 

Single-pass multitexturing allows a 3D 
accelerator to blend multiple textures in 
one rendering pass. Until recently, only 
Voodoo^ had multitexture support — and 
only in Glide/OpenGL 
The RIVA TNT, with its dual texturing 
pipelines, has multitexturing capability, 
which becomes apparent in QUAKE II tests. 

Banshee boards trailed the performance of the 
stock PA2000 Voodoo^ card by a wide margin on QUAKE 
II, even though they ran ahead of the Voodoo^ board in many Direct3D 
games. DirectX6 has full support for multitexturing, so we'll likely see 
more multitextured games in the future. The recent trend toward dual 
rendering engines in newly announced chips only adds fuel to this fire. 



Another trend is the movement toward richer texture sets. This 
has happened more slowly than we expected, but we are begin- 
ning to see titles with 20-t-MB of textures in scenes. 
Some of these titles, like Criterion's REDLINE 
RACER, were also designed with AGP in mind. 
The trend toward higher polygon counts has 
an effect, too, because more vertex data 
needs to be sent over the bus. The full 
setup engine in most newer chips eases the 
problem a bit, but it's still there. Huge tex- 
ture sets coupled with high polygon counts 
can really saturate the bandwidth of the bus. 
This partially explains the trend to large amounts 
of local video memory. AGP version 1 .0 maxes out 
at 528MB per second — but smaller amounts of textures 
need to be retrieved at any moment in time if AGP execute mode 
is used. 

Still, the bandwidth problem has brought us to AGP 2.0 (a.k.a. 
AGP Pro), which doubles maximum AGP throughput to 1 GB/sec. 
We should see the first AGP Pro boards early next year. 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


/.computergaming.t 







The Fire. The Cybrids turn on 
humanity and destroy the Age of 
Hope. Earthsiege begins. 


End of The Fire. The daring destruction 
of Prometheus’s moon base jails to 
uncover signs of the Dark Intellect itself. 



2471 


2605 


2602 


Sentinel Cybcrtronix 
unveils Prometheus. 


2627 


A series of defeats forces Earth’s people 
to withdraw support for the fledgling 
colonies on Luna, Mars, Venus, and 
outlying mining stations. The colonists 






2652 


The Empire and the Cybrids 
have amassed huge armadas, 
but no one really knows the 
extent of the buildup. 


2800 


Hostilities break out on Mars and 
Venus. The Emperor unleashes the 
Imperial Fleet to crush the rebellion. 
The Cybrids seize the opportunity and 
launch n massive invasion armada. 
Starsif.gf. begins. 


2826 


Martian rebels discover advanced 
alien technology which shifts the 
balance of power. Rebels become a 
legitimate challenge to the Empire. 


fnceptidnofth'eQ 
Fluman Empire. Petresuh I 
crowned Emperor. 



‘Clearly the frontrunner 
in the coming industry-wide 
mech war...” 

- OGR.cou] 

JOIN US. 

WWW.STARSIEGE.COM 


1996 Sierra On-Line, Inc. All rights reserved. (3) and TM desrgnale Irademarks ol. or licensed lo Srerra On-Line. Inc. 


Go to #1 74 @ www.computergaming.com/infolink 




FIRST-PE RSDINM 

WARFARE 


Meta-jumpgate discovered to be part of a 
network of interstellar gates. The Diaspora 
begins. Humanity begins to spread throughout 
the galaxy. “Those Who Jumped, " the first 
people travelling through the jumpgate, forsake 
the security of the Great Human Empire to 
journey into the unknown. 


A powerful force of Imperial Knights, the . 
Blood Eagle, appear in tribe space to 
subdue the Children of the Phoenix for 
the Great Human Empire. The conflict 
fractures the Children, as groups break 
away to form new tribes. This event 
becomes known as The Splintering. 


2832 


Starsiege ends. 


3488 


3358 ' 

Settlers refer to themselves as a 
"tribeT the Children of the Phoenix. 
They claim to follow the teachings of 
the renowned warrior Harabec 
Weathers, hero of the Cybrid Wars. 


3455 


3458 


The Starwolf tribe forms, 
supposedly founded by 
renegades from the Children of 
the Phoenix and Blood Eagle. 






--■%?- 


-4 



.ribal culture is now in a perpetual state 
of war. The Blood Eagle, far from their 
homes for decades, have come to consider 
themselves a “tribeT Finding HERCs 
impossible to maintain, they adopt the 
flexible armors used by the many tribes. 


Blood Eagle forces prevail in the 
Hepta Ourubis system following 
use of ecocidal weapons. Starwolf 
losses are high. 


353D 


3340 



iCjujiam' 


Out of nowhere 
comes a game that 
threatens to surpass 
both Quake II and 
Unreal for multiplayer 
supremacy. " 

- Next Generation 


a JOIN US. 

WWW.STARS1EGE.COM 

19S8 Sierra On-Line. Inc, All rights reservsQ. ® and TM deslgnale lindemarks cl, nr licensed lo Sierra On-Li 

, Go to #1 78 @ www.computergaming.com/infoNnk 


Dynamix 

AjtUHRA COMPANY 


34BD 


Formation of the Diamond Sword tribe 
under the tutelage of the Enlightened 
Master. Using innovative strategies and 
striking with precision and economy 
the Diamond Sword rapidly carve out a 
large holding for themselves. 


3332 


Rough census by the Children of the Phoenix 
shows that of the hundreds of smaller, 
independent tribes, an “alarming number" 
have either allied with or agreed to non- 
aggression pacts with either the Starwolf or 
Blood Eagle. Already the skirmishes have 
increased, and bloodfeuds grow more common. 


3D TO DIE FOR 


QuantumBD 

Raven 

-k-kiKi 

Q uantumBD squarely aims at 
the consumer market with 
this no-frills, $149 board that uses 
BDfx's new Banshee chip. The 
board ships with 16MB of 
SDRAM. The bundle hadn't been 


firmed up at press time, but if 
QuantumBD's hopes are realized, 
it should be unique. 

One thing is apparent from our 
testing of all the Banshee boards; 
This is not your Daddy’s Voodoo 
Rush. While performance wasn't 
up to the level of TNT (except for 
MOTORHEAD,) Banshee performed 
quite well in 2D and BD bench- 
marks and game scores. The lack 
of a second texture unit hurt it in 
QUAKE II scores, 
but all the other 
games fared reason- 
ably well. 

This particular 
Banshee board took 
everything we threw 
at it with one minor 
exception: ironically, it 
wouldn't run MOTOR- 
HEAD in BDfx Glide 
mode (but it did run 
just fine in DirectBD 
mode). We tested an 


AGP board in the 450MHz sys- 
tem. Although the Raven was one 
of the more stable Banshee 
boards, it was also a bit slower 
than the others. It tied the 
Guillemot Phoenix for the best 
scores on our MOTORHEAD high- 
res torture test, pumping out 
27fps at 1280x1024. MOTORHEAD 
doesn't appear to be particularly 
texture rich, so most of its tex- 
tures probably fit into the local 
video memory. 

Given the bundle (that we can't 
talk about, or we'd have to shoot 
you), QuantumBD's growing reputa- 
tion for customer support, and the 
price, the Raven bears serious con- 
sideration. 

Raven. $149 for 16MB. 
QuantumBD. (408)919-9999. 

WWW. quantumSd. com 

Pros: Glide support: good per- 
formance; good control panel; 
potentially good bundle. 

Cons: Glide not fully working yet. 


Guillemot 

Maxigamer 

Phoenix 

k k k k i 

G uillemot's Phoenix rounds out 
the shipping Banshee boards 
. The price is certainly right; It's 
$149 and ships with a $20 rebate 
coupon, for a stellar price of $1 29 
for a 1 SMB Banshee board. All we 
can say is, ain't cheap memory 
grand. We tested the PCI board in 
both the 450MHz Pentium II, as 
their AGP board wasn't ready yet. 
It gave us a chance to see how 
PCI Banshee fared versus the AGP 
card, we had suspected there 
would be very little difference, 
since Banshee is really a souped- 
up PCI part, and we were right. In 
fact, the Phoenix posted scores 
that were neck and neck with the 



Performance Benchmarks 


3D GameGauge (sooxeooxie) 


V) 

■o 

(0 

u 

a. 

< 


Aopen PA2000 | 
ASUSV3000ZXTV I 


Canopus Spectra 2500 
Diamond Viper 550 
Guillemot Phoenix AGP 
Hercules Terminator Beast 
Matrox Marvel G200 
Matrox Millennium G200 
QuantumBD Raven AGP 
QuantumBD S12 AGP 
STB Velocity 4400 



Total 

383.8 

264.5 

487.8 

477.6 

421.7 

443.9 

281.8 
293.8 
377.3 

392.0 

483.0 


Diamond Viper 550 PCI 
Guillemot Phoenix PCI 


232.8 

165.4 


Mow WG Tested vVe tested most of the boards on CGW'% No- 
Holds-Barred machine, equipped with 1 28MB of SDRAM, an intei 450MHz Pentium li, 
and 440BX chipset. The system aiso had a Monster Sound MX200 and aii SCSi storage 
components. The Pentium 200MMX system had an iSA sound card, EiDE storage 
devices and 64MB of EDO DRAM — a configuration similar to those used by many CGW 
readers. Each card was tested on a squeaky dean Windows 98 instaii with DirectX 6.0 
Both systems were configured for gaming, so audio and networking was enabled. 


We used WinBench 98'5 business graphics WinMark to test 2D Windows perfor- 
mance (at 1024x768x16), though the score wasn't heavily weighted. In truth, most of 
these cards are fast enough in 2D. We also used 3D WinBench 98 as a synthetic 3D 
benchmark and to take a closer look at the image quality of various rendering fea- 
tures, The primary test, though, was CGW’s 3D GameGauge, which uses six shipping 
titles to test overall gaming performance. The 3D GameGauge scores were all recorded 
at 800x600. We've decided it was time to drop 640x480 testing, as it didn't really 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD « DECEMBER 1998 


v.compulprg.ifning.c 




PCI Cards AGP Cards 


3D TO DIE FOR 


somewhat less stable (but beta) 
version of the Diamond Monster 
Fusion. We did run into a problem 
on the Pentium 200MMX test- 
bed: FORSAKEN wouldn't run, but 
this is one of the most finicky 
tests we have. There were no 
problems on the Pentium II. 

Guillemot is clearly trying to 
stake out the value position for 
their products. Not long ago, they 


dropped the price of their 12MB 
Voodoo^ card to $1 59— and now 
we have a 5129 card with 16MB. 
You give up a few frills but at that 
price, it's definitely worth check- 
ing out. 

Maxigamer Phoenix. S 129 with 
rebate coupon. Guillemot, (800) 967- 
0863. www.guillemot.com 

Pros: Fast cheap. 

Cons: Basic amenities. 






3D WinBench 98 
Business 
Graphics 

3D WinBenci 
98 (800x600) 

Fill-Rate 
Torture Test 
Motorhead (12x10) 

Aopen PA2000 

N/A 

885 


N/A 


ASUS V3000ZXTV 

164 

970 


17 


Canopus Spectra 2500 

234 

1460 


23 


Diamond Viper 550 

248 

1670 


22 


Guillemot Phoenix AGP 

226 

1320 


27 


Hercules Terminator Beast 

165 

1290 


23 


Matrox Marvel G200 

170 

796 


17 


Matrox Millennium G200 

198 

816 


18 


QuantumSD Raven AGP 

227 

1280 


27 


Quantum3D S12 AGP 

N/A 

1000 


N/A 


STB Velocity 4400 

247 

1630 


22 


Diamond Viper 550 PCI 

106 

496 


21 


Guillemot Phoenix PCI 

101 

500 


N/A 



differentiate some of the cards. In addition, we used Gremlin's MOTORHEAD (version 
1 ,3) to test high resolution 3D performance — up to 1 280x1 024. We recorded a play- 
back loop, then captured the average frame rate. 

The PCI cards were tested on a Pentium 200MMX system. The Guillemot Phoenix 
was also tested on the 450MHz system because we didn’t have the AGP version. It 
didn't really make a difference, since Banshee is really just an enhanced PCI part, and 
doesn't support advanced AGP features. 


3D GameGauge 

Real-World Performance Testing 


W e all know 
that the real 
reason to get 
a 3D accelera- 
tor is to play 

games. So it makes a lot of 
sense to test 3D graphics cards 
using real 3D games. Unfor- 
tunately, there aren't any estab- 
lished benchmarks for testing 
3D cards with PC games. So we 
created the 3D GameGauge to 
do just that. 

3D GameGauge is a perfor- 
mance index that measures the 
speed of six popular PC games. 
We test the frame-rates on a 
standard demo loop for 
each game and 
combine the 
totals to 
yield the 
3D Game- 
Gauge score. 

We've shown 
this number 
next to each 
card reviewed 
here, along with a 
reference number for 
comparison. We derived the ref- 
erence number (392) by running 
the same test on our test-bed 
Pentium II 450 using a 12MB 
Voodoo^-based Diamond 
Monster 3D II. We believe 
gamers will be most satisfied 
with a 3D card that either 
comes close to this score or 
beats it. If it doesn't, we don't 
recommend that board for its 
3D performance, although it 
may have other features — 
video capture, TV tuner, etc. — 
that appeal to you. The 3D 
GameGauge score gives you a 
good idea of how a card will 
perform on a variety of titles. 

The six games comprising the 
test are FORSAKEN, INCOMING, 
TUROK, QUAKE II, QUAKE, and 
F22 ADF.The games cover a 
gamut of performance types. 

For example, FORSAKEN has a 
fairly low polygon count, but 


emphasizes fill-rate. QUAKE II 
has a higher polygon count 
than the other titles (except 
possibly Incoming) and is a 
good OpenGL test case. F22 
ADF is a flight sim with over 
8MB of textures, which can 
stress the card's ability to move 
textures across the bus. 

We run 3D GameGauge titles 
at a resolution of 800x600x16 
with audio enabled. A graphics 
card may have higher frame- 
rates when it has the whole sys- 
tem to itself, but performance is 
often affected when other things 
are happening. If the card allows, 
we disable "wait for V- 
sync" to get a better 
idea of the card's 
rendering 
"headroom." 

In the future, 
we'd like to 
see more 
games sup- 
porting triple 
buffering and 
higher resolutions. This 
would make testing a lot easier. 

in addition to the 3D 
GameGauge, we use other 
benchmark tests to determine 
video performance. Those tests 
are described along with our 
performance results on the pre- 
vious page under How We 
Tested. There you will also find 
a description of the test-bed 
system used for this survey. 

The 3D GameGauge is the 
best available method for evalu- 
ating a card's 3D graphics speed 
when it's running games. How- 
ever, we are constantly working 
to improve the GameGauge by 
replacing older games with 
newer, more robust titles that 
support enhanced features such 
as triple buffering and higher res- 
olutions. ZD Benchmark Opera- 
tions is also working on a bench- 
mark using 3D GameGauge to 
deliver a rigorous, application- 
based 3D benchmark. 



v.computergaming.c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD « DECEMBER II 




Im Yia drim Ha 
Maa Hsaaalt Vailela lalalf? 




fimiTHROWER 


2X mAR EUlOEO MISSILE 
LARMRER 


ERSIOni POWER PIART delivers 
smooth running power at temperatures 
up to 700 degrees Kelvin 


SECORE COIUTROI SYSTEM with realtime 

fractal encryption keeps your datalink untraceable 
and unbreakable. Drive with confidence. 


ARMOR EACim of renewable ceramic polymers 
protect your vehicle from adverse conditions such as 
plasma bolts and autocannon fire. 


ElECTROMAOmiC REPOISOR ORIVE with 

gyrostabilization and inertial dampers goes from 0 to 
180km/h in 0.0014 seconds 


The Argus Overlord 

Armor Trend netmagazine’s 
221 9 Assault Vehicle of the Year 



All Nataka Remotely Piloted Vehicles ship with version 56.9 of BattleHelper, Nataka's award-winning operating system. Some 
vehicles not exactly as shown. All performance specifications given for unencumbered vehicles in 1 G of gravitational force 
and 101.9 kPa of barometric pressure unless otherwise indicated. BattleHelper is a registered product of the Nataka 
Corporate Empire. Unauthorized use of the BattleHelper name is a violation of applicable treaties and will be met with military 
force. Gunmelal" and Mad Genius Software " are trademarks of Mad Genius Software Ltd. 


MAD 

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HHf 


Go to #130 @ www.computergaming.com/infollnk 



3D TO DIE FOR 




drivers would run well on this 
particular card. 

At $199 list for a 12MB, the pric- 
ing is reasonable, but the only ref- 
erences 1 could find on the Net 
were for higher prices. The bundle 
is interesting, except that many of 
the games are merely playable 
demos. There are full versions of 
TUROK, FLIGHT UNLIMITED II, 
STRATOSPHERE, and JOINT STRIKE 
FIGHTER, though the documenta- 
tion is entirely on the CD. 

This is an undistinguished 
Voodoo^ design that clearly 
demonstrates the increasing com- 
modity nature of 3Dfx accelerators. 

PA2000. $199 for 12MB. AOpen. 
(888) 852-6736. www.aopen.com 

Pros: Extensive software bundle; 
nice CD hard case. 

Cons: Just another reference 
board design that ships with the 
reference drivers. 


AOpen 

PA2000 

A ☆ A / . 

H ere we have a Voodoo^ refer- 
ence board, We immediately 
noticed that the PA2000 number 
was taped on the PA2000 circuit 
board. Peeling the label back 
revealed the 3Dfx logo, some- 
thing we'd only seen on 3Dfx ref- 
erence boards. 3Dfx reference 


Quantum3D AGP S12TV 


have richer texture sets and higher 
triangle counts, this card will come 
into its own, but right now I'd 
rather get a fully AGP compliant 
card — or even a Banshee — for a 
lot less. 

AGP S12TV. $349 for 12MB. 
QuantumBD, (408)919-9999. 

WWW. quanium3d. com 

Pros: Voodoo^ for AGP. . . 

Cons: .. .except that we're not 
really sure why; very expensive. 


W e occasionally get messages 
asking about AGP Voodoo^ 
As the PCI Banshee boards indi- 
cate, AGP doesn't buy you a whole 
lot with current 3Dfx technology. 
Quantum3D has a nifty demo that 
shows a large number of video 
streams being textured over multi- 
ple objects. The demo brings a PCI 
Voodoo^ to its knees, but the dedi- 
cated 66MHz AGP port handles it 
with aplomb. Of course, I don't 
know any games that do this yet, 
but that may yet come to pass. 

What an AGP Voodoo^ board 
might be good for is if you 
upgrade from an existing PCI sys- 
tem. If you have a decent 2D card 
and are breaking your budget try- 
ing to get everything, buy the SI 2 
AGP. The only problem with this 
theory is that it's 5349; so you 
could buy an AGP primary card 
and someone else's Voodoo^ card 
for the same price. 

Performance is a bit bet- 
ter in 3D WinBench than 
that of PCI Voodoo^ 
cards, but 3D 
GameGauge only comes 
in slightly faster than a 
generic Voodoo^ card. 

Perhaps when games 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD 


DECEMBER 1996 


3D TO DtE FOR 


Almost 

There... 

W e also looked at a number of boards that were almost, but not 
quite ready for prime time. Most of the problems appear to be 
driver issues more than anything else, and by the time you read this, 
the boards should be shipping. 



WickedBD Vengeance 


Y a gotta love the names of some of 
these products. The Vengeance is a 
Banshee reference board design. 
WickedBD, a division of Metabyte, adds 
value by delivering enhanced drivers. The 
original WickedBD Voodoo^ card was an 
unassuming reference board design 
enhanced by drivers that could run at 
slightly better resolutions than most 
Voodoo^ boards. 


The Vengeance actually ran most of 
our tests, but it would freeze up when 
trying to run GL QUAKE. At press time, 
the engineers at WickedBD suspected 
BiOS issues and were busy working on 
the probiem. The board will be priced 
at Si 49 for a board with 1 6MB of 
SDRAM. 

Vengeance. $149. WickedSD, (510) 
494-4700. www.wicked3d.com 




The Generawn ofj 
Extreme Co&ol | 


You've been gaming ever since you got 
weaned on Pong as a kid. Now you want a 
stick that'll do it all. Programmable. 
^ Digital. Analog. Comfortable. Cool. 
I Different. New. 

I GenX 700 by QuickShot is all that and 
i more. This programmable stick comes 

I I complete with switches to move between 
I digital and analog modes for the HAT, 
I rudder, handlefire buttons andX&Yaxes. 
I plus a 3D rotational handle and a multi- 
|. view' HAT switch. This stick's super- 
g ergonomic with a contoujgd BioThrottle"* 
I complete with extra fireiuttons. And the 
§ GenX 700 is a really cool metallic purple 
I color — sure to look perfect anywhere. 

i- Don't forget to check out our streamlined 
I’ GenX 500 and 500L — the world's first 
^ joystick made for lefties! 

I 

5 Punish yourself no more. Enter the 
I generation of extreme control. 

I GET THIS SnCK! 


i.quickshot.' 


Go to #260 @ www.computergaming.com/infolink 


i'.computergaming.< 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD - JULY 1998 





Some cry because of the challenging gameplay. Others cry for their enslavetl brothers. But 
most Muilokans cry because electrorles are attached to their tear glands, stimulating the ingredients 
for SoulStorm Brew, the best-selling nauseating elixir from SoulStorm Brewery. 

In the classic Oddworld tradition, Abe's Exoddus delivers more intuitive communication and 
entrepreneurial evil than ever before. Bicher language. Lusher environments. Tougher challenges. 
Deadlier farts. 




New & improved save teature! 
Save your game anywhere! 


Welcome to the tastiest gaming brew ever concocted. Slug it dovyn. 


ANAU-niEWEPIC 
FROM THE CREATORS OF 
ODDWORLD: AOFSODDYSEE 


Slap some sense into those lUudehons 
- hut look out tor laughing gas! 


A rmmplete Exoddus reipiires more 
31^ stealth than a ninja army 


EvD ruled- hut Ahe's new powers j 
mean you're up to the task! 4 


V - Available at your lo^ 

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Oddivoild: Abe's Exoddus" 
hadetnatk at CT Inteiactiv 





THE GAME 



HAD HE UNDERSTOOD REAL-TIME 
deformation and tessellation 




Introducing the PC game ior baseball 
purists, the most realistic-looking, most 
realistic-ploying game there is. 

Powered by Shiny Entertainment's 
Messioh Tecbnologyrreal-time deforma- 
tion and tessellation lets you see muscles 
flex and jerseys stretch. 

Over 30 frames per second. 



Player models created from over 
100,000 polygons. 

All 30 MLB teams and stadiums. 

Over 700 MLBPA’” players and full 
1998 schedules and rosters. 

Track over 7500, statistics for a season. 
Download new stats and player ratings 
from www.vrsports.com. 



w' 





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For more information, please cali 
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Goto #164 ® www.computergaming.com/infolink 



3D TO DIE FOR 


Diamond Monster Fusion 


T he first thing you notice about the 
Monster Fusion is the massive fan 
over the Voodoo Banshee chip. It's 
actually a cool looking, flat 
fan/heatsink. It works, too. Despite 
having 125MHz SGRAM, the AGP 
Monster Fusion board never got more 
than warm, as opposed to other 
Banshee boards that got almost too 
hot to touch. 

It was almost, but not quite, ready 
to ship when we checked it out. Both 
the AGP and PCI versions would crash 
to the Windows desktop when trying 
to run the 1 .3 and 1 .4 versions of 
MOTORHEAD. Fusion completed all 
other tests, coming in slightly ahead 
of the Guillemot Phoenix and stands 
the potential of being the fastest 
Banshee board out there. It's also a 
little more expensive at S159, but It 
does have SGRAM. The Fusion PCI 
comes with 1 6MB of SDRAM and is 
priced at $149. 

Monster Fusion. Si 59 for 16MB 
AGP; SI 49 for 16MB PCI. Diamond 
Multimedia. (800) 468-5846. wmv. 
diamondmm.com 



Number Nine Revolution IV 


L ast year. Number Nine vowed to 
improve the 3D performance in its 
next generation part. The good news is 
that the company kept its promise, and 
the Ticket-to-Ride chip is two to four 
times faster in 3D than the original 
Revolution 3D. The bad news, based on 
our testing, is that it may not be good 
enough. While the 3D WinBench score 
is decent, the board doesn't seem to 
have the fill-rate needed to handle 
games all that well. What's more, the 
Windows 95/98 OpenGL driver that the 
company sent us was pretty unstable. 

However, it also felt somewhat 
unfinished, so it's possible that a sig- 
nificant amount of driver tuning may 
speed things up. One good thing 
about the board is that it will come in 
a 32MB version — that's right, 32MB 
of local video memory, and the price 
will be right, too. 

Revolution IV. S 169 for 16MB; S219 
for 32MB. Number Nine Visual 
Computing, www.nine.coin 



COMPUTER GAMING WORLD ■ DECEMBER 1998 


rf.computergaming.c 


l!0®" 





Creating 

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on in audio. 


Sound 




( ' mim 

( a^thispcice^.,.( ( ( EIlllDflSi' 
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< ( > ( C C t (. C -C 
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C soind ^ard^ev^rj 1 


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kJound Blaster® Live!"* changes everything you know about audio. We will 
surround you with an Environmental Audio” sound experience so amazingly 
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Hollywood-quality audio equipment. 
Modify any sound source in real-time 
using amazing audio special effects 
like flanger, pitch shifter echo, and 
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inputs and outputs. Hear audio with more clarity and vibrance than you’ve 
ever heard before with hardware accelerated audio streams and multiple 
speaker support. Experience the ultimate in gaming with Environmental 
Audio” support in the coolest new games. Not only will Sound Blaster® 
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(C A A t B R I D gT) 

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To maximize your true surround-sound experience, add the Cambridge 
SoundWorks® PCWorks FourPointSurround™ 
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speakers and a separate powered subwoofer 
to produce effective 3D positional audio — 
regardless of room acoustics, player head 
position, or speaker placement. Now you 
can experience truly immersive 3D audio. 

Sound Blaster® Live!’" features: 

> Hollywood-quality re-creation with an astounding -l20dB noise floor > E-mu's most 
powerful audio processor with lOOO+MIPS and 8-point interpolation > Digital I/O card for 
easy connection to music keyboards and digital audio recorders > Environmental Audio” 
— enhances all audio content from the past, present, and future > Livelware program 
provides updates over the life of the product > Rapidly growing support for EAX titles 

Cambridge SoundWorks® PCWorks FourPointSurround "features: 

> Four compact satellite speakers and a powered subwoofer > Rear surround speakers 
can be placed anywhere with the included tripod stands, and wall mounting accessories 

> In-line master volume control for all four satellite speakers and subwoofer > Delivers 
discrete 4-channel 3D positional audio with Microsoft® DirectSound3D and Creative’s 
Environmental Audio Extension'" games 


' “With the abiJify t6 


^ ^ ko real-time ejfects,,^^ j 


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Go to #154 @ www.computerqaminq.com/infolink 


the Live! experience, 
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Youll be glued to y* 


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B,, 


buckle up and brace yourself for the visual ride of your life! 3D Blaster™ 
Banshee explodes with rocket-fast 2D performance, startling 3D frame rates, 
and break-neck video acceleration with an absolutely out-of-this-world price. 

Its screaming speed comes from the ! 28-bit 3Dfx 
Banshee” processor, which offers Voodoo2-like 
performance. A full 16MB of I OOMHz synchronous 
memory and a 250MHz RAMDAC gives you 
ultra-high resolution and millions of colors. 
With DirectX”, Glide and 3Dfx OpenGL™ 
drivers, tuned for compatibility with the widest range of applications and 
games, this affordable, easy-to-install graphics accelerator is a must for every 
PC. It’s a gamer’s dream come true, that doesn’t break the bank! 



Graphics Blaster™ RIVATNT delivers blood-curdling performance. Its packed 
with workstation power whether you’re a hard-core gamer or a hot-shot 3D 
designer. An ultra-wide, 128-bit memory 
architecture and 16MB of high-performance 
l25MHz synchronous memory supported by 
aTwiN-Texel, 32-bit color 2D/3D engine that 
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texturing, and even full-screen anti-aliasing. 

When you need to work with incredible precision and play games with liquid- 
smooth speed, Graphics Biaster™RIVATNT is what you’ve been waiting for. 



3D Blaster” Banshee features: 

> Complete 2D/3D graphics solution based on the new Voodoo Banshee chipset 
from 3Db< Interactive® > Features a full 128-bit graphics engine and Voodoo2 3D 
rendering technology > 16MB of SDRAM and 250MHz DAC deliver awe-inspiring 
resolutions, rock-solid refresh rates, and stunning visual quality > Boosts your PC’s 
performance and provides compatibility with the widest range of applications and 
games in a single, cost effective upgrade 


Graphics Blaster " RIVATNT features: 

> World-class 2D/3D,and video acceleration using the RIVATNT processor from nVIDIA* 

> Ultra-wide, high speed 128-bit memory architecture andTwiN-Texel 3D pipeline deliver 
mind-numbing speed in virtually any application > 16MB l25MHz synchronous memory 
and a powerful 250MHz DAC provide incredibly high resolutions and refresh rates for 
brilliant, vivid images > Perfect platform for the power-user, gamer or graphic designer 

www.soundblaster.com/experience/ 

Go to #155 @ www.computergaming.com/infolink 



r r r r!. r r r- r ^ ^ , 



^ ‘^Afteyne^dl^ssI^ Pidttyig 
( ^la^eritlnpugh r|jj§GAMERl 
(its(pa(es,^ve(cmf ( 'fDIIOfS'l 


< Uappily'an9hiaHily(\ 
^re6on(m/ndh."( ( 

f fc^/;an(er, W ]/98.QL 

^ ^ 2D ^iLpr 


the Live! experience. 


laDuauagxa aifi 3/1/7 








f (((((< C (T' 

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' ^£/N/ET,^ebl-uary^lW \i 

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{ ( PC-DyD lEncrar^ D>^'r'"^ 

( ( (\ ( C\ ( (O 
f f ( f ( c ( (.jOC 
( c f c (, ( c (. Qn( 

VcVonE 


tion. 


M 0 VO' 


A 

JTX. heart-pounding cinematic experience is no longer restricted to the 
big screen! Building on the award-winning success of Creative’s PC-DVD’“ 
products, PC-DVD'" Encore 5X brings the 
digital difference right to your home — 
complete with Dxr™2 enhanced resolution 
capabilities and Dolby® Digital audio for stunning 
picture and sound that will absolutely knock 
you off your feet! Then again, movie playback 
is just the beginning. PC-DVD'“ also runs all 
your cool CD’s. And it can access up to 17 
gigabytes of information on a DVD-ROM. That’s 25 times more than a CD-ROM! 


DeskTop Theater" 5. 1 


To ensure the ultimate live experience, simply add Cambridge SoundWorks® 
DeskTop Theater™ 5.1 speaker system. 

Now you can experience truly explosive 
movie theater Dolby® Digital surround 
sound with five independent speakers 
and a subwoofer without the high cost 
of a Dolby® Digital receiver. And like 
any great film, words hardly do justice 
to the PC-DVD™ Encore 5X and the 
DeskTop Theater™ 5.1 speaker system. 

PC-DVD'" Encore 5x features: 

> DVD player for your TV - The Dxr’''2 board comes with high-quality S-video 
and composite outputs to connect to your TV > DVD player for your PC ■ a 
high-definition, resolution-enhanced DVD player on your PC monitor in a fully 
resizable window > 3rd Generation DVD-ROM drive screaming at 5x DVD speed 

> Oxn™!, DynamicXtended Resolution™ Technology, movie picture enhancer is 
comparable or better than some expensive line-doublers. 

Cambridge SoundWorks® DeskTop Theater'" 5.1 features: 

> Delivers movie theater sound with Dolby* Digital 5. 1 and Dolby Surround audio 
with PC-DVD™ or consumer DVD players > Dolby® Digital decoder amplifier with 
five discrete compact satellite speakers and subwoofer. No separate receiver required 

> Creative Multi-Speaker Surround™ upmixes stereo to 5.1-channel surround audio 
>With Sound Blaster® Live!™, it delivers discrete 4-channel 3D positional audio with 
Microsoft® DirectSound3D and supported Environmental Audio Extension™ games 

www.soundblaster.com/experience/ 


Go to #206 @ www.computergaming.com/infolink 


the Live! exberien^. 
fesuauaaxa aiji aAf-j 



Go 



ri[EArai5.1 


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best suited 


after $30 mail-in rebate 


> Sounc 

Blaster Live! 

$199®^ 

♦ 

• 

♦ 

> Sounc 

Blaster Live! Value 

$99« 


♦ 

• 

> Sounc 

Blaster PC1 128 

$69** 


• 


> 3D Blaster Banshee (AGP & PCi) 

$99“ * 


♦ 

• 

> Graphic Blaster RivaTNT (AGP & POJ 

$169“ 


• 

• 

> 3D Blaster Voodoo2 12MB 

Call Now! 


♦ 


> PC-DVD Encore 5x 

$249“ 


• 

♦ 

> PC-DVD Encore Dxr'"2 

$199“* 


• 

• 

> DeskTop Theater 5.1 

$299“ 


• 

♦ 

> FourPointSurround 

$99“ 


♦ 


> SoundWorks 

^99i! «« 

♦ 



> PCWorks 


• 




0 = good choice 




WWW.SnUNDBLASTER.CDM 


©1998 Cieative Technology Lid. All other brands or product names listed are trademarks or registered trademarks and are 
property of their respective holders. Unreal’ 1999 Epic Megagames. Inc. All rights reserved. Created by Epic Megagames. Inc. 
in collaboration with Digital Extremes. Published and distributed by GT Interactive Software Corp. 


I Work & Learn 



3D TO DIE FOR 


Event Horizons and Trends 

T here are a number of incoming chips that we picked up in our over-the-horizon radar. They 
continue a couple of interesting trends that we've seen in our roundup. 

The first trend is boards with lots of local video memory. Most of the boards tested now ship in 
16MB versions, and some retail boards are available only in 16MB versions. (For the price conscious, 
beware that some OEM boards may only have SMB, and may not be expandable.) Even SMB Voodoo^ 
boards have all but disappeared, with 12MB boards now the norm. 

Number Nine Is even shipping a 32MB version of its Revolution IV, and ATI has announced a pair 
of 32MB products using their Rage 128 chip. 

Another trend is integration of dual rendering pipelines. The first part with dual-rendering 
pipelines on a single chip is nVidia's TNT. The Rage 1 28, which is probably shipping as you read this, 
also sports dual-rendering engines, as does 3Dlabs Permedia 3 and Rendition's recently announced 
Rredline accelerator. So here's a quick rundown on each of these new parts. 


ATI Rage 128 

he Rage 128 has been redesigned 

from the ground up and bears lit- 
tle resemblance to the Rage Pro. in 
addition to two rendering pipelines, it 
has full hardware DVD decoder capa- 
bility on the chip. So with the right 
software support for DVD region 
encryption, you won't even need a 
daughtercard. The chip is manufac- 
tured using a process {0.25 micron) 
that can cram more transistors in a 
given space — the Rage 128 has 7 
million transistors. The first versions 
will likely run at 1 0OMHz, but 1 25 
and 1 50MHz is possible. The chip can 
also support a higher speed variant of 
SDRAM, called Double Data Rate 
RAM (DDR RAM.) 

ATI is shipping two boards of 
interest to gamers. The Rage Fury 
uses the Rage 128GL chip, which 
also powers a workstation card — 
the Rage Magnum. The Fury comes 
with TV-out and 32MB of RAM; the 
announced price is 5299 for 32MB. 
The Xpert 1 28 will have 1 6MB of 
RAM, and will cost less. Driver sup- 
port is likely to be robust, with full 
DirectX6 and OpenGL ICD drivers. 


SDLabs Permedia 3 

he Permedia 3 has twin rendering 
engines and the ability to man- 
age texture usage in hardware. At 
presstime, no boards have been pub- 
licly announced. 

On paper, the chip looks pretty 
fast — 3DLabs is claiming a maxi- 
mum fill-rate of 250Mpixels/sec. Like 


ATI's new part, Permedia 3 will also 
be built using a 0.25 micron process 
and will max out at 16MB of 
SDRAM orSGRAM. 


Rendition Rredline 

N ot a lot is known about this 
chip yet. It does have dual ren- 
dering engines, and apparently has 
on-chip support for dual monitors. 
Rendition is aiming for the 250 
megapixel range at a minimum. The 
company, recently acquired by 
Micron, is under the gun to deliver 
a competitive part. Rendition was 
one of the first companies to ship a 
3D accelerator aimed at gamers, 
but they haven't been able to keep 
up with the frantic release schedule 
of new technology from competi- 
tors. Let's hope that the Rredline 
will keep this 3D pioneer in prime 
fighting form. 


PowerVR Second 
Generation 

W e've heard relatively little from 
Videologic or NEC on the 
PowerVR front. The PVRSG, as it's 
known, still uses the infinite planes 
rendering method, but adds a lot of 
hardware functionality to accelerate 
DirectSD better. NEC's plans for PC 
products have been somewhat 
delayed because Sega chose 
PowerVR for its Dreamcast console 
system, which has been eating into 
NECA/ideologic engineering 
resources, though it's possible we'll 
see PC product early in 1999. 


The Bottom Line 

I n scoring the cards, we took a look at several factors. Setup 
was an important issue, but most cards these days are rea- 
sonably easy to install. Most cards also now ship with indepen- 
dent setup programs that allow you to force a driver install if 
Windows is reluctant. We noted any setup issues in the individ- 
ual reviews, included in our setup considerations were any sup- 
plied control panel or accessory software to tweak the card. 

Performance in 3D GameGauge was the major test, but we 
also took a good look at synthetic benchmark results. Image 
quality has also figured high on our list. Additional features, 
such as enhanced expandability, were also taken into consider- 
ation, and software bundles were only a minor consideration. 

Based on this, our pick for top honors is the STB Velocity 
4400. Although the Canopus Spectra 2500 had marginally 
higher 3D GameGauge numbers, the image-quality problem 
we noticed in 3D WinBench 98 concerns us. Diamond's Viper 
550 is a great card, too, but the control panel utilities aren't 
quite as robust as the STB's. 

Don't sell the Banshee cards short, either. Although 3D 
GameGauge performance trailed the TNT boards, the ability 
to run Glide (3Dfx) games is a big plus, as is their relatively 
low cost. Of the two shipping quality Banshee boards, the 
Guillemot Phoenix is our pick, it's combination of low cost 
and good performance makes it a winner for those on a bud- 
get. Diamond's Monster Fusion looks promising — particularly 
the AGP version, with SGRAM on board — but it wasn't quite 
final when we looked at it. 

The Terminator Beast is an interesting product that gener- 
ated good 3D GameGauge scores, but we have some con- 
cerns about image quality and 2D performance. The SMB limi- 
tation is also an issue. The Matrox boards — the speed king in 
2D/3D combo cards only a couple of months ago — have 
already been eclipsed, though the Marvel G200 is an excel- 
lent multipurpose board. 

All of these boards easily eclipse last years crop of 3D 
accelerators. It's clear from recent announcements that the 
graphics chip battles are far from over. But these accelerators 
are finally approaching the kind of features and performance 
that we've all been longing for. 


i'.compute''gamlng.c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 




HERE’S WHY. 


“(In iF/A>i8E CSF).. .you'll never have to fly 
the same mission twice, and you'li experience 
an unprecedented degree of interaction 
between allied and opposing forces on the 
land, in the eir, end on the seas." 

- All About Games 

"Beyond the very realistic gameplay Eln 
Spearhead], I the graphics in this Tunisia 
based combat game look fantastic." 

- Next Generation 



4Ve out of 5 Stars • Great Battles of Alexander 
4 out of 5 Stars • Great Battles of Hannibal 
4 out of 5 Stars • Great Battles of Caesar 

- Computer Gaming World 


"If you like empire building games.. .you'll 
love Knights S Merchants." 


• PC Games 


"...this could be the best looking wargame 
of this type ever." 

- Computer Games Strategy Plus 



www.imagicgames.com 
Go to #168 @ www.computergaming.com/infolink 

IF/A'16 Cariicr Sliite FxjIiIki, NwIIi vs. Soutli Gieal Boltks Colixlois E:&tian, SpeaiFiead. Knigtils fi 
Merchants. and Road to Mu-jcvi'i arc li.adenuiks and iiilcractIvG Magic Isa tc^eied liiidcnwk o( Inleiacllvi’ 
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M^/bc 




I Don't Play, 

iMac 

Cute and Zippy, but Not for 
Serious Gamers 


by Dave Salvator 

Photo by Michael Falconer 


wvvvv.cofnpLitL'rgaming.com 


iMAC 


Despite some forward-thinking design 
ideas, iMac too often favors form over 
function, which wili put it on the express 
train toward obsoiescence for gamers. 


espite its repu- 
tation for inno- 
vation, Apple 
was recently a 
company In 

need of good news. The company 
that brought the graphical user 
interface (GUI) to the masses in 
1984 was facing eroding market- 
share, a sagging stock price, and a 
serious crisis of confidence among 
the Macintosh faithful. Enter the 
IMac, Apple's paean to the original 
Macintosh, which upon its release 
started selling like gangbusters. 

Apple seems to have a runaway 
hit on its hands, so much so that 
Japanese consumers can't even 
get their hands on one. Heck, we 
had to do a midnight raid on 
sister-publication Equip \ust to get 
one (don't tell them we swiped it.) 
In some sense, the iMac, which is 
targeted at new users interested 
primarily in the Internet, does 
mark a return to glory for the 
house that Steve and Woz built. 

But is this wundeibox something 
gamers are going to want? Not if 
they are serious about gaming. 

computer' 1 




APPEAL: StudenB, new computer users 
interested primarily in the Internet; not 
gaming enthusiasts. 

PROS: Compact form factor; solid CPU; 
convenient USB placement. 

CONS: Very outdated 30 graphics 
engine; innards not readily accessible. 

What's in the Box; 

CPU: G3 233MHz PowerPC 
RAM: 32MB SDRAM 
(expandable to 128MB) 

2D/3D Graphics: ATI Rage lie 
Graphics RAM: 2MB S6RAM 
(expandable to 8MB} 

Hard Drive; EIDE 4GB 
CD-ROM: £IDE 24x 
Modem: S6K, supporting 
KSBFIex andV.90 

USB: 2 ports on CPU, two on keyboard 
Networking: Onboard 
10/100Base-T Ethernet 

Ptice:S1,299 

Uarrutsciuter; Apple Compjier 
Cupenino, CA 
(408) 996-1010 



In returning to the integrated 
CPU/CRT design of the original 
Mac, iMac brings a streamlined 
retro look to an industry chock- 
full of beige box and monitor 
combos. Unfortunately, despite 
some forward-thinking design 
ideas, iMac too often favors form 
over function, which will put it on 
the express train toward obsoles- 
cence for gamers. 

Somewhat reminiscent of the 
Macs of old Is iMac's lack of 
upgradabllity and limited accessi- 
bility to what few upgrades are 
possible. Then of course, there are 
the glaring design holes, like oh, 
say, the complete lack of remov- 
able writable media. That's right, 
no floppy drive, no Zip drive, noth- 
ing. Let me give you an idea of 
the aggravation this can cause: 

The only way I could actually write 
this piece on the iMac was to 
hook up its modem, connect to my 
ISP, and email the review to 
myself. Apple will be making a 
USB floppy drive for iMac that 
may be available as you read this, 
and Iomega has announced a USB 
Zip drive due out later this year or 
early next year. But these devices 
won't be cheap and will detract 
from iMac's integrated design. 

For all of its aspirations, iMac 
winds up often feeling like a 38- 
pound laptop. Highlights include a 
CD-ROM drive that could have 
easily been pulled from a lap- 
top — and at least mobile 
machines have solved the inte- 
grated floppy/CD-ROM problem. 
Rounding out the mix is a small 
keyboard with a mushy action, 
and a hockey puck-like mouse, 
which might be useful for those in 
the animal kingdom not graced 
with opposable thumbs, but for 
humans it's uncomfortable almost 


to the point of uselessness. One 
happy footnote: Logitech's two- 
button USB mouse with scroll- 
wheel does work with the iMac, 
although Logitech hasn't yet made 
a driver available to enable full 
functionality. 

Another annoyance is that this 
sucker is noisy, mainly because the 
CPU is on your desktop. The com- 
bination of CPU fan noise, the 
hard-drive spinning, and the spin- 
ning up of the CD-ROM drive 
makes quite a ruckus. 


The iMac's CPU is a G3 
233MHz PowerPC. This is an 
extremely capable CPU that can 
move business apps and games 
along well. G3s feature a 51 2KB 
Level 2 (L2) cache with its own 
backside bus that runs at half the 
CPU's core clock-rate (similar to 
Pentium ll's architecture.) This CPU 
talks to 32MB of SDRAM (upgrad- 
able to 128MB), which runs at 
66MHz, yielding a peak system 
memory data rate of 528MB/sec 
(current PCs max out at 
800MB/sec). iMac's 233MHz clock 
rate may seem low, but appreciate 
that architectural differences 
between PowerPC and Pentium II 
give PowerPC a floating-point 
advantage at similar clock rates. 

Comparisons are difficult to 
make here, owing to the lack of a 
cross-platform 3D benchmark. But 
iMac's CPU probably performs 
more like a 300MHz Pentium II for 
floating-point operations, which 
would seem to bode well for 3D 
performance. That is, until you 
look at the 3D accelerator it's 
talking to. 

The iMac uses ATI's woefully 
outdated Rage He graphics 
chipset, which shipped in late 
1997. Not only is Rage He dated 


Virtual 

PC Gaming 

S o you love your Mac, but 
you want to play the lat- 
est PC games now. Don't 
despair. Virtual PC (VPC) 
by Connectix could be your pass- 
port into the world of PC gaming. 
Essentially, VPC emulates a 
Pentium MMX machine in soft- 
ware running on top of the 
MacOS. 

Installation is easy, and either 
Windows 95 or 98 comes with 
the package. You can practically 
get it up and running faster than 
a real PC. All of the Mac's hard- 
ware can be used by DOS or 
Windows software running on 
VPC, including the Mac's built in 
audio hardware, which is seen by 
VPC as a Sound Blaster. VPC also 
has full Ethernet support for PC 
networking. 

I found out about VPC when a 
Machead friend of mine lamented 
over not being able to play AGE 
OF EMPIRES because a Mac port 
isn't yet available. We picked up a 
couple copies of VPC, and within 
the hour, we were locked in 
pitched multiplayer battle — even 
using the RISE OF ROME expan- 
sion pack. Game performance 
was significantly slower than with 
a real Pentium, but it was good 
enough to keep us playing. 

Owners of high-end G3 Macs 
will obviously see the best results. 
You'll probably want at least 
64-96MB of RAM to keep things 
going smoothly. We were able to 
run VPC on the iMac, but it was 
slower because of iMac's paltry 
32MB of RAM. Despite the VPC's 
drawback of needing a boatload 
of memory, there are other gam- 
ing benefits — one being that VPC 
fully supports any Voodoo 
Graphics or Voodoo^ PCI card 
installed in the Mac, even if the 
MacOS can't see the card. 

VPC also allows Microsoft's 
DirectX technology to talk to the 
Mac's hardware, and it's this 
degree of compatibility and flexi- 
bility that's really impressive. 

There are a few tweaks you can 
make to speed things up, such as 
replacing the MacOS' Finder with 
the VPC application. Again, don't 
expect lightning-fast performance, 
but VPC will certainly get you in 
the game. 

— Kenneth Johnson 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 




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[MAC 


3D technology, but you're stuck 
with it. No upgrade options here. 

In its day, Rage lie was a decent 
3D performer, capable of about 
30Mpixels/sec of fill rate and a 
peak triangle rate of around 
250,000 triangles/sec. But current 
3D accelerators have nearly 
quadrupled that level of perfor- 
mance. Rage lie doesn't have an 
onboard triangle setup engine; 
rendering work will have to be 
done on the CPU. Even so, what 
you most likely wind up with is a 
3D pipeline that's fill-rate limited. 
In other words, the Rage lie will 
most likely be the bottleneck. The 
graphics chip is another potential 
slow spot. It sits on a 33MHz PCI 
bus, whose top-end data rate is 
1 33MB/sec — one-quarter the peak 
data rate of AGP 2X. 

The news on the 2D side is bet- 
ter since Rage He and ATI's more 
recent Rage Pro have the same 2D 
core. Also disappointing is that 
iMac ships with only 2MB of video 
memory, which limits you to a 3D 
resolution of 640x480x16 (double- 
buffered with z-buffer). You're also 
limited to 1024x768x65,535 col- 
ors for your 2D graphic. You can 
upgrade the video memory to 
8MB, but good luck getting the 
case opened. Because of iMac's 
entry-level target market, its 
innards are not easily accessed. 
There were rumors at press time 
that Apple was considering ATI's 
Rage Pro accelerator to replace 
the Rage He. But if Apple is serious 
about 3D gaming, it would do 
well to consider ATI's newest 
part — the Rage 128, which looks 
to be a promising part. 


Another news note; ATI has 
announced that it will be provid- 
ing OpenGL acceleration for all G3 
Macs, including the iMac. 

In the mass-storage department, 
the most notable change is the lack 
of SCSI, a hallmark of all Macs. 
Instead, iMac ships with an EIDE 
4GB hard drive, and a 24x CD-ROM 
drive. This latter component has a 
particularly cheap feel to it similar 
to those found in laptops. 

As for audio, iMac has an 
onboard sound chip, the details of 
which are somewhat sketchy. On 
its Web site, Apple states merely 
that this chip supports CD-quality 
audio resolution (44.1 KHz, 16-bit 
stereo). A nice touch here is two 
front-mounted, WalkMan-style 
headphone jacks, which mute the 
front-facing speakers. Audio in 
these headphone jacks is clean, 
and there's no audible hash. 
However, the iMac's speakers are 
at best anemic, and because they 
lack a woofer driver, low-end 
response is virtually nonexistent. 
Apple has included a line-out jack 
on the iMac's side to route audio 
to external speakers. 

For adding peripherals to iMac, 
Apple went long on the Universal 
Serial Bus (USB). Both the key- 
board and mouse connect via 
USB, and the keyboard has two 
conveniently placed USB ports, 
one at each end. Gone are tradi- 
tional Macintosh connectivity 
options such as Apple Desktop 
Bus (ADB), modem and printer 
ports, and LocalTalk port, which 
Macs use for peer-to-peer net- 
working. In some ways, this is a 
good thing, since ADB could be 


somewhat unstable when devices 
were disconnected and recon- 
nected often. The LocalTalk port 
has been replaced by an onboard 
10/100-Base-T Ethernet connec- 
tion. which will allow for much 
faster network connections. 
However, because this is the first 
Mac to ship with USB, a fair ques- 
tion to ask is: What exactly can 
you connect to this thing? At this 
point, the answer seems to be 
“very little." 

Because iMac lacks ADB, tradi- 
tional Mac game controllers can't 
be connected to it, and while both 
ThrustMaster, Gravis, and CH 
Products have announced future 
USB game controllers for iMac, 
none were available at press time. 
Also, Apple's external floppy drive 
and Iomega's Zip drive for the 
iMac will both connect via USB. 
Rounding out iMac's I/O lineup is 
an internal 56K modem that sup- 
ports both K56Flex and the new 
V.90 {Open56K) standard. 

Game On 

We took the iMac for a quick 
spin through some games, includ- 
ing MACQUAKE, WARCRAFT II, and 
MYTH. In all three titles, perfor- 
mance wasn't a problem. But in 
MACQUAKE, the game couldn't 
recognize iMac's mouse, probably 
because the game was trying to 
poll for the ADB mouse directly, so 
mouse-looking wasn't an option. 
Installing the iMac Updater 1.0 
from Apple's Web site failed to 
resolve the problem. Interestingly, 
both WARCRAFT II and MYTH had 
no mouse problems and ran fine. 
iMac comes bundled with Shiny's 
MDK, which ran fine as well, 
although Rage He's image quality 
was mediocre. For the more 
valiant tweaker, emulation pack- 
ages like Virtual PC and 
SoftWindows allow Macs to run 
Windows 95, and you can run 
some Windows 95 games this 
way, albeit at a somewhat slower 
speed than on a PC (see sidebar). 

liQitarr, Lille timr: 

The iMac will serve its targeted 
market — new computer users 
whose primary interest is the 


And Now a Word From Our Benchmark 

W e put the iMac through its paces running ZDBOp's MacBench 
5.0, which measures CPU, 2D graphics, hard-disk, and CD-ROM 
performance. This benchmark normalizes scores to Apple's G3 300MHz 
Mac. In just about all categories, iMac stacks up well, so business 
apps should move along well, as will games that don't make intensive 
use of 3D graphics. 


MacBencti Tests 

iMac 

Mac G3 300MHz 

Processor (Integer) 

713 

1,000 

FPU 

771 

1,000 

Graptiics (1024x768x16) 

1,896 

1,000 

: Hard Disk 

803 

1,000 

CD-ROM 

923 

1,000 


Internet — pretty well. For casual 
gamers not terribly interested in 
3D performance, iMac will again 
work. But for serious gamers of 
any stripe, iMac is not the way to 
go. There are just too many limit- 
ing factors, not to mention a 
dearth of upgrade options. Serious 
Mac gamers should be looking to 
Apple's higher end G3 Macs for 
their expandability. (Read: You can 
put a Voodoo^ card in them.) The 
Mac gaming community continues 
to plod on, and there are a decent 
number of titles out there for the 
Mac — provided that you don't 
mind being razzed by all your PC 
gaming friends who have been 
playing the titles for months 
(sometimes years) before you. So 
if your mother-in-law is looking to 
check out this whole "Internet 
thing,” get her an IMac. Or if your 
cousin Smedley is looking to get 
into strategy games and is really 
excited about playing RIVEN, get 
him an iMac. But if you want to 
enjoy the best that gaming has to 
offer, look elsewhere, 


So What the Hell 
Can Macs Play? 

Despite the lag between when a PC title 
ships and the time Its Mac port ships, 
there are a fair number of Mac games to . 
be had. Here's a brief listing of relatively - 
recent titles; 

B Title Publi sher i 

Age of Empires {early 1999) MacSoft . 

Deer Hunter ...MacSoft 

Diablo Blizzard 

Fallout A Post Nuclear RPG MacPIay 

Jad Nicklaus 4 MacSoft 

UnksPro Access Software 

Marathon Trilogy Boxed Set , Bungle 

Master of Orion II MacSoft 

Monty Python's Complete 

• Waste of Time 7Si Level 

My11ill:Soulblighter(esly1999) ...Bungie 

Myfti;The Fallen Lords Bungie 

Police Quest SWAT Sierra 

Riven Cyan 

StarCraft Blizzard 

Take No Prisoners Red Orb 

TheJoumeymanPrt^B: 

• LegacyofTime RedOtb 

TitanicAdventufeOutofTime Sierra 

Tomb Raider II Eidos 

Total Annihilation MacSoft 

Unreal MacSoft 

WarCraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal Blizzard 
WarCraftlLTidffi of Darkness Blizzard 

I The X-files Game Fox Interactive 

I X-Men: 

j • Ravages of theApocalypse ....MacSoft ^ 
. You Don't Know Jack: Vol. 3 Sierra ■ 




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Inters '99 Roadmap Revealed 


I ntel can't keep a secret. Try though it may, parts of its 
1999 roadmap were recently leaked to the press. 
While there don't appear to be any major surprises 
on the horizon, AGP. system memory, and CPUs are 
all going to get speed boosts. 

As for CPUs, Intel plans to ship 450MH2 and 
500MHz Katmai processors next March, which will 
include the Katmai New Instructions (KNI), 70 new 
instructions to help accelerate the transform and 
lighting portion of the 3D pipeline, A companion 
chipset to Katmai, called the 820 — also code-named 
Camino — ■ will support 4X AGP; AC97 Digital Link 
audio; and Direct Rambus dynamic RAM (DRDRAM) is 
due in the second-quarter. These systems will be 
ready to accept a 133MHz system memory bus archi- 
tecture later in the year, yielding a peak memory 
bandwidth of IGB/sec. 

Intel's new 440JX chipset, due in the second quar- 
ter of 1999, will support Direct RDRAM— although 
it's unclear whether the chipset will support both 


Direct RDRAM and today's SDRAM. Camino will also 
support 4x AGP, whose peak data rate of 1 GB/sec will 
help keep 3D graphics moving along. 

On the graphics front, Intel is working on two new 
graphics chipsets, one, code-named Portola, is due in 
mid-1999; the other, due late next year, Intel will unveil 
Coloma, a high-performance AGP 4x part. Intel has been 
very tight-lipped about these chipsets, but stay tuned 
here to the Works for details and specifications. 

Although Intel would very much like to integrate 
IEEE 1394 {a.k.a. FireWire) functionality to better 
complete the PC's external plug-and-play capabili- 
ties, it canceled plans to support FireWire in a more 
extensive version of its 440BX chipset because of a 
lack of demand and high cost. Officials at two Top 10 
PC makers said they talked Intel out of including 
IEEE 1394. It currently costs OEMs between $10 and 
$20 to support the specification. An Intel official said 
it will support IEEE 1394 in its products at a later 
date. — Lisa DiCarlo, PC Week, and Dave Salvator 


3Dfx's Next Part, 

Micron Closes Rendition Deal 


T his month's edition of the Works 
includes some early info on 
3Dfx's next-generation chipset, 
as well as the news that Micron has 
closed its Rendition deal. 

Although 3Dfx isn't talking about it 
much yet, not wanting to cloud its 
fourth-quarter sales outlook, we've 
heard a few tidbits about its next- 
generation chipset, called Rampage. 

This 2D/3D AGP chip, whose exact ETA isn't yet known, 
will be 3Dfx's on/y chip. That's right, kids, new 3D-only 
30fx boards will be a thing of the past when Rampage 
arrives, sometime next year. This marks a pretty serious 
departure from 3Dfx's traditional approach, which con- 
sisted almost exclusively of 3D-only boards, which have 
proven very successful for the company. But in 
announcing their third-quarter results to their stock- 
holders, 3Dfx unfortunately posted a net loss, although 
its settlement of the Sega lawsuit did offset the losses 
somewhat. The fourth quarter is looking brighter for the 
company, with the arrival of Voodoo Banshee boards 
from Diamond and Guillemot International, as well as 
the traditional heavy holiday buying season. 

Rampage represents 3Dfx's realization that the 3D- 
only board market is a niche market relative to the 



much larger 2D/3D graphics market, 
and it's there that the company will 
focus its efforts with Rampage. No per- 
formance specifications are available 
as of yet, but given that the current 
Voodoo^/Banshee architecture isn't 
especially AGP-friendly, 3Dfx may be 
looking to create an architecture that 
will take better advantage of AGP. 
Micron Technology, the parent 
company of PC maker Micron Electronics, announced 
the closing of the previously announced acquisition 
of Rendition, Inc. The acquisition was recently 
approved by Rendition shareholders, allowing 
Micron to proceed with the acquisition in a stock- 
for-stock merger. The deal gives Micron an entree 
into the graphics arena, and for Rendition, the deal 
provides a needed infusion of cash that lets it con- 
tinue work on its RRedline Multimedia Accelerator, 
which will likely ship first quarter of next year. An 
early 2D/3D pioneer. Rendition was beset with 
schedule slips with itsV2200 accelerator that cost it 
some key deals late last year. Despite its late arrival, 
V2200 was a good 2D/3D performer that found 
homes in boards from Jazz Multimedia, Diamond 
Multimedia and Hercules. — Dave Salvator 


Techwatch 


ATI Rage 128 This is ATI's next- 
generation 2D/3D part. Rage 128 
will feature dual-rendering 
pipelines and will be built using 
a .25 micron process, vririchATI 
hopes will allow it to run Rage 
128 at 125MHz. This part can 
process two pixels per clock, so 
peak fill rate at that clock speed 
would be 250Mplxels/sec. Rage 
128 will feature full 32-bit color, 
anti-aliasing, and single-pass 
multitexturing. 

ETA; Q4 '98 

Rendition 

Rredline Multimedia 
Accelerator Rendition's next- 
generation part will also feature 
dual rendering pipelines and 
support all DirectXS features. 

The chip features a 128-bit 
memory interface, but Rendition 
breaks this wide bus down into 
dual independent 64-bit wide 
channels, which Rendtion claims 
will achieve real-world memory 
performance SO percent faster 
than a 128-bit bus alone. 

ETA: Q1 ‘99 

AMD K6'3 Following on its K6- 
2, AMD's next CPU, the K6-3, will 
retain AMD's 3DNow! technolo- 
gy for accelerating transforms 
and lighting for 3D rendering, 
K6-3's biggest improvement will 
be its onboard 256KB Level 2 
(L2) cache which will run at the 
CPU's core clock speed. 

ETA: Q4 '98 

Intel Katmai This series, Intel's 
next round of CPUs, has anticipat- 
ed clock speeds of 4S0-500MHz. 
In additional to the higher clock 
speed, Katmai CPUs will also fea- 
ture what Intel has clumsily 
dubbed "Katmai New Instruc- 
tions," a name given to avoid 
calling these new instruction-set 
extensions MMX2. 

ETA: Q1 '99 

Intel tA-64 Intel's next-next- 
generation of processors will be 
a substantial departure from 
their traditional X86 CISC-based 
architecture. This new 64-bit 
CPU will use a new set of Very 
Long Instruction Word (VLIW) 
instructions, and use a technol- 
ogy termed EPIC (Explicitly 
Parallel Instruction Computing) 
to execute instructions in paral- 
lel. ETA: Q1 '00 


li^ COMPUTER GAMING WORLD ■ DECEMBER 199B 


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3D Sucks 

What We Need Is Games That Use 3D, Not 3D Games 


O kay, now put down the 
torches, pitchforks, and 
battering rams. I see 
that some of you may 
have taken offense at 
the headline on this 
article. I suppose it's 
understandable, since 
you just dropped S500 for a set of 
the latest 3D graphics wonder 
accelerators. But now that I have 
your attention, hear me out. 

Just before I sat down to write 
this. I was up to my eyeballs 
inside the latest iteration of the 
No-Holds-Barred Machine. We 
used it for our graphics card test- 
ing in 1998's massive graphics 
card roundup. It's made up of a 
450MHz Pentium II and some of 
the hottest 3D rendering hard- 
ware ever developed. But it's 
terrible. Let me tell you why. 

Rendering History 

Let's go back in time a bit — 
about 183 years. It's June 18, 

1 81 5. We're just outside of Mont 
St. Jean, a small town in Belgium, 
not far from the French border. 


Roughly 140,000 men are 
arrayed opposite each other in 
colorful uniforms in a scant 
square mile of gently rolling hills. 
It rained the night before, and 
the ground is soggy. On one side 
is Napoleon Bonaparte's Armydu 
A/ord while on the other is a 
mixed bag of British regulars and 
Belgian, German, and Dutch 
forces of varying quality. It's 



Napoleon's last, desperate bid to 
return to power. 

The artillery barrage begins at 
around 1 1 :30 a.m. Soon, French 
forces are pressing forward to the 
two fortified chateaus — farms, 
really — that anchor each flank. 
Smoke begins to drift off the 
battlefield. By the time the battle 
is over, the French will have 
attacked with 1 2 heavy cavalry 
charges. Men are surging all over 
the battlefield, fighting desper- 
ately. Thousands of horses are 
swirling around, trying to break 
the squares; artillery is firing 
incessantly; horse artillery is gal- 
loping back and forth. 

Render This, Pal 

Try to render such a scene and 
you'll find you can't. The number 
of polygons and textures that it 
would take to realistically render 


but the monsters are ugly, in an 
unintentional way. 

Mechanical games fare a bit 
better, because you can render a 
jet fighter with several hundred 
triangles and it will look pretty 
good. But it's still not photorealis- 
tic. And if you tried to render the 
Allied raid on the Ploesti oilfields 
in World War II in its full scale, 
with hundreds of bombers dis- 
gorging their bomb loads while 
hundreds of German fighters 
defend against them, you'd still 
bring any PC to a standstill. 

It's not just the graphics accel- 
erators, but the entire pipeline 
that are to blame. CPUs aren't 
fast enough, the graphics cards 
aren't fast enough — and even if 
they were, scene management 
would be staggeringly difficult. 
Technologies like Microsoft's 
Fahrenheit will help with the 


J J) realistically render the Battle of 
Waterloo would choke a supercompuPr^ 



the Battle of 
Waterloo would 
choke a super- 
computer. The 
current state of 
3D graphics is 
such that the 
game devel- 
opers can do a 
fairly good job 
with corridor 
shooters — 
although I'm 
getting pretty 
tired of seeing 
polygonal mon- 
sters. Not to 
pick on UNREAL, 
which is a 
beautifully ren- 
dered game in 
many respects. 


management of big scenes — but 
imagine the hardware require- 
ments to render millions of poly- 
gons with true color textures at 
60fps (frames per second). 

There's lots of work going on 
to try to solve this problem. For 
example, a number of 3D hard- 
ware companies are beginning to 
wonder if maybe the triangle as a 
primitive has run out of gas. It's 
very possible that the 3D acceler- 
ator of tomorrow may spit out 
graphics in ways that no accelera- 
tor today uses. So be aware that 
today's hot 3D card may look as 
pathetic to us in a few years as 
an EGA card looks today. 

Having said all of that, that 
doesn't mean that you should 
despair and toss that 450MHz 
wonder in the nearest river. 


(i!\ rOMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1996 


v.computcrg.iming.c 




LOYD CASE 



FALCON 3 is Still one of the best 
flight sims ever, and the planes 
in that game had all of 20 trian- 
gles. While the best we can do 
today is roughly approximate 
reality, it's certainly a very big 
step fonward. 

3D: It's a 

Technology, Stupid 

Then there are game compa- 
nies that try to capitalize on the 
latest trend. This really steams 
me. I read recently about one 
game developer who proposed 
an idea to a game-company 


executive. The game was a turn- 
based strategy game, as 1 recall. 
The developer was asked if the 
game used 3D. After a moment 
of stunned silence, the developer 
pointed out that it was a turn- 
based strategy game. He was 
told in no uncertain terms that 
3D graphics is the new trend, 
and he should seriously consider 
making his title 3D. This meant 
that the poor sap would have to 
spend countless hours making 3D 
graphics work that could be put 
into Al, better 2D graphics, more 
atmospheric sound, and better 


gameplay — all for a game that 
didn't really need 3D graphics in 
the first place. 

Last month, I talked to a num- 
ber of game programmers about 
how 3D art is created and brought 
into games. One developer — who 
will remain nameless — told me 
that the reason the performance 
budget for graphics was so high 
was a sad and simple truth: 
"Graphics sells games." 

I would dearly like to see a 
day when game boxes no longer 
feature text that louts "Multipass 
rendering with colored lighting!" 


i mean, who really cares? Maybe 
there should be an industry-wide 
rule that says we take all tech- 
nology terms out of the hands of 
the people who write the market- 
ing copy on the game boxes and 
in the ads. 

The Play's the Thing 

3D graphics technology is near 
and dear to my heart, as many of 
you know. But i've seen too 
many people argue over what 3D 
accelerator is the "best," and 
most of the time the discussions 
get very emotional. I get a lot of 
email asking me if the seemingly 
infinite upgrade cycle will ever 
end. The answer is, probably not, 
as long as the game developers 
keep ratcheting up the visual 
quality, the compiexity, and the 
realism of titles. 

At some point, we'll be able to 
run three monitors at 1280x1024 
with photorealistic scenes at 
30fps. When that happens, 
maybe the upgrade cycle will 
slow down. But that's a few 
years off. Meanwhile, a lot of 
great titles will be coming out — 
3D or not — so enjoy what's 
there. I know I will. 

Okay, I'll get off my soapbox 
now and delve back into some 
technology topic next month. 
Remember, though, that all of 
this is really about having an 
immersive experience that's been 
created by someone whose main 
focus should hs to entertain us. 

All the cool hardware in the 
world can't make a game like 
OUTPOST any better. 


Tech Tips 


Gettin' the Boot 

[ was quite pleasantly surprised to find that the full install version of the Windows 98 CD is a bootable CD. So if you have a system that can 
boot from a CD-ROM drive, then installing Windows has just gotten a lot easier. 

Disk House Cleaning 

If you've had OS/2 or a boot manager like System Commander installed, and you no longer need them, having the boot manager prompt 
come up may annoy you. All you need to do to remove this is to restore the Windows 95/98 master boot record. Boot to the DOS prompt and 
type the following: 

FDISK/MBR 
Then reboot. 

Since FDISK is a potentially dangerous program, you may want back up your valuable data. 


if.computergaming.c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD « DECEMBER 1998 





Drive yourself wild. 


Logitech 




For an ultra-realistic road experience, grab hold of the racing sj’stem, 

the supreme force feedback PC nicing wheel. Lightning reactiveness. Extreme cornering. 
Violent crashes. Revolutionary 1-FORCE" technt)logy, complete with high-precision steel cable 
drives, lets you feel the Ibrce in every fiber of your being. Every sensation. Every vibration. 
Every gyration. The WingMan Formula Force nicing system. Now you don’t have to pay a 
fortune for the ultimate driving experience. 

It’s what you touch."' 


Go to #081 @ www.computergaming.com/lnfolink 



KESMAI 


Forget the box. 

Forget limits. Forget small. 

The future of games is online. 
Massive. Random. Forever changing. 
Populated by thousands. 

Real people. Real battles. Real adventures. 
This is GameStorm. 


GAMESnmi 


www.gamestorm.com 


The best massively multiplayer games. 
Virtually any networkable CD-ROM game. 
Award-winning editorial content. 
Thriving player communities. 

All in one package, for one price. Unlimited play. 


$9.95 monthly. First month FREE! 


P games online ^ 


iHEAT.tlFT: 


.uerbaiP'") 


QUAKlt'^'b^ii.NetFivjiur. 

WiiiCiaft''^ II. Pobi.ii''''’ ... 

.uiy noiwoikaiilrt c ii t-;. . 

www.computergaming.com/infollnk 


Gai)ieStorm'“ is a trademark of and Kesmai ’’ is a registered trademark of Kesmai Corporaiion.ENGAGF games online "' is 
Games On-Line, Inc. Ail rights reserved. SegaSoft'", HEAT™ and HEAT.NET" are trademarks of SegaSo/t Networks, liic.G. 


trademark of GameSpot Inc. All other trademarks, registrallons, and copyrights are properties of their respective hiiicleis, 



^ TWO RECIPES FOR THE ULTIMATE GAMING MAGHINE 

Everybody Say Goodbye to the 66MHz Bus 

We've now officially entered the era of the lOOMHz bus with the new Ultimate Game Machines. The No-Holds-Barred rig has 
been using the 100MHz front-side bus for several months now, but the 350MHz Pentium II is now cheap enough to make it into 
the Lean-and-Mean system. Next month, we expect to seriously upgrade the primary graphics, so stay tuned. 




NO HOLDS BARRED 




COMPOniElUT 

PRODUCT 

PRICE 

WEB ADDRESS 


, • 

Molhetboard 

ASUS P2B-L5 

$350 

www.asus.com 


Mvsnqug * ^ 

CPU 

Pentium IMSO 

S775 

www.intel.com 



Memory 

256MB of Corsair PC100 SDRAM 

S350 

N/A 



Disk Controller 

Built-in Ultra2 SCSI 

$0 

N/A 



Pfimarv Graphics 

Matrox Mystique G200 t6MB 

S199 

www.matrox.com 



Secondary Graphics 

QuantumSD Obsidian X24 

$599 

www.quantum3d.com 



3.5" Floppy Drive 

Teac 

S25 

www.teac.com 



Hard Drive 

Seaqate Cheetah 18 

S1,400 

www.seaqate.com 


I — 

Backup 

lomeqa Jat 2 

$350 

ivww.iomega.com 


lyiiyinittiteli B 

CD-fiOMrOVD 

Plextor Ultraplex 

S225 

ivwwplextorcom 


Monitor 

Sony 500PS 

$1,395 

www.sonv.com 



Primary Audio 

Diamond Monster Sound MX200 

S149 

www.diamondmm.com 



Speakers 

LFMl 

S600 

www.eminent-tecb.com 



Modem 

3Com tmpactlQ 

S200 

www.3com.com 



NeCworkInq 

Built-In Intel 10/100 ethernet chip 

$0 

N/A 









r ^ — 1 






I / . •• I 

Keyboard 

MS Natural Keyboard 

$69 

www.microsoft.com/hardwarB 



Mouse/Pointinq Device 

Loqitech Mouseman Plus 

$59 

www.iogitech.com 


Action Game Conltolier 

Microsoft Sidewinder Freestyle 

$79 

www.micro5oft.com/hardware 


Friqht Joystick 

ThrustMaster F22 Pro 

$129 

www.thrusimaster.com 


Ttirottle 

ThruslMaster TQS 

$149 

www.thrustmaster.com 


Rudder Pedals 

ThrustMaster RCS 

$129 

www-thrustmaster.com 


Driving Controls 

T5W 

$360 







I 

LEAN « MEAN 

1 


$7,835 ) 



COMPOIUEIUT 

PRODUCT 

PRICE 

WEB ADDRESS 



Motherboard 

ABIT 6X6 

$145 

www.abit.com.tw 



CPU 

Pentium 11/350 

$469 

www.intel.com 



Memory 

64MB PC100 SDRAM 

$133 

N/A 



Disk Controller 

Built-In UOMA/33 

$0 

N/A 



Primary Graphics 

Real3D Starlighter 

$120 

www.real3d.com 



Secondary Graphics 

Diamond Monster 3D II 12MB 

$179 

ivww.diamondmm.com 



Floppy Drive 

Teac 

$25 

www.teac.com 



Hard Drive 

Seaqate Medalist Pro 9.1 

$304 

www.seaqate.com 


: ' <% 

Monitor 

Optiquest V75 

$359 

www.pioneerusa.com 

www.opliquest.com 



Primary Audio 

Turtle Beach Monteqo 

$95 

www.voyetra.com 



Secortdary Audio 

NA 

$0 

N/A 



Speakers 

Boston Acoustics BA635 

$99 

www.bo5tonacou5tics.com 



Modem 

US Robotics V.90 

$133 

www.3com.com 



Networkinq 

NA 

$0 

N/A 



Case 

Procase 

SSO 

www.procaseusa.com 



Power Supply 

Built-in, 235W 

$0 

N/A 



Keyboard 

MS Natural Keyboard 

$69 

www.microsoft.com/hardware 



MouseJPoinlInq Device 

Loqitech Firslmouse+ 

$29 

www.iogitech.com 


1 .%• ■ 'ife.: 

Action Game Controller 

ThrustMaster Rage3D 

$29 

www.thrusimaster.com 



Fliqht Controls 

CH FI 6 Combat Slick 

$49 

www.cJtproducts.com 




- 




1 

^ TOTAL: 

$7,397 y 


We have made every effort to ensure that this information would be timely and ' 

accurate. However, new hardware is constantly being released, and magazine production and distribution involves an 8- to 1 0-week delay. In cases where new products were close 
to release at press time, we have kept our current top choice so that we recommend only finished products we have tested. Lists compiled by Dave Salvator and Loyd Case. 


v.computergaming.c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 









© 1998 Galoway 2000 Inc. All rlgWa rosorved. Gateway and the Gateway stylized logo ate Iradomaiks, and Yojt:)Waro is a setvlco mark of Gateway 2000, Inc. The Intel Inside Logo, Intel and Pentium are rogislorod 
trademaiks and Pentium II Xoon is a trademark ol the Intel Corporation. All other brands and product names are trademarks or reglsIorBO trademarks ol Ihoir respectivo companies. All prices and contiguratiors are sub|ocl 
to change without notice or obligallon, Prices do not include shipping and handiing or any other applicable tases. Many Gateway products are custom-englneorod to Gale^vay specifications, wtilch may vary from retail versions 
ol the software and/or nardware In functionality, performance or compatibility. 1. Gateway purchases will gualify lor the YourrjWare program by 1) linaneing through a Gateway authorized lender 2) purchasing sik monlhs ol 
gatowny.nel*"; and/or 3) buying an addilional soflware bundle. Trade-in available at any lime belwoon the firsi day ol the 24tti month and the last day of the rt9lh month after delivery ol Your:)Waro product. Trade-in credit is 
only available il you purchase a now Gateway product. Gateway will give you the average wholesale value on Ihe Your;)Waro produel, in good condition as determined by Gateway's sole discretion, using the then current 
Orion Blue Book or anoiner, similar commercially reasonable industry standard determined by Gateway. Other terms and conditions apply. Call our loll-lroe number lor details. Loan linancmg available on approved credit 
through independent lender. Payments based on 4B-monlh term and an Annual Percentage Rato as low as 14.9%. Your APR may be higher. 2% access chock loo (S2min7S15ma».); not applicable to Gateway pmchases 

service a 9 reements.,and lnflallalLqnaQr|emmlSjUy_ 9 _ur Gateway ,lecliriipii,n d5te™e_s_aji^n;sjlev,sins^n^^^^^ 


eements. and installation agreements, IJ your Gateway technician determines an 6n-site visit is necessary, pn-site service v 
and located in the continental United States, Alaska. Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Canada {excluding mice, keyboards, mor 
t installation services are administered By PC Technology Services, Inc. See agreements lor specifrc terms arid limitations. 


B urchaset - 
'n-site and 

on 6-month commilmerl. S15 loo 


iprly cancellation. S14,95 lor unlimited ht 


. $14.95 galeway.net pricing b: 


Killer graphics. Killer acoustics. Killer speed. 

A computer that understands your sensitive side. 



pentium®|| 

xeon...| 


At Gateway, we have just the computer you need to keep on top of the latest technology 
and wipe out your gaming rivals. Like the GX-450XL. It’s got an Intel® Pentium® II Xeon’“ 
processor with 450MHz — the fastest out there — and lots of other great stuff like a 128MB 
SDRAM, a 16MB graphics accelerator, and a Boston Acoustic® Digital MediaTheater™ sound 
system. Plus with our Your:)Ware^^ program’ — which gives you the option to trade it in toward 
the purchase of a new one after two years — you can stay up to speed with the latest 
technologies. Besides, these features will also come in handy for that other part of your life — 
you know, the part that occasionally uses a computer for something other than saving the 
planet from alien invasions. 


Every Gateway client is unique, and so Is every Gateway™ PC. These systems are just 
examples of what we can build for you. 


Blast Off H Hyperspace 

G6-400 ■ GX-450XL 


• Intel* Pentium* II Processor 400MHz with 512K Cache 
•64MB SDRAM 

• EV700 .28 Screen Pitch 17" Monitor (15.9" viewable) 

• 16MB AGP Graphics Accelerator 

• 10GB Ultra ATA Hard Drive 

• DVD-ROM & MPEC2 Decoder 

• 3.5" Diskette Drive 

• SoundBlaster* AudioPCI™ 64D 

• Boston Acoustics® BA635"^ Speakers 

• U.S. Robotics® 56K' Voice Winmodem 

• Mid-Tower Case 

• MuItiFunction Keyboard & MS® Intellimouse® 

• Microsoft Windows* 98 Home Essentials™ Software 

• Extreme Gaming II Software 
(Content suitable for ages 1? and older.) 

• Gotewoy Gold™ Service^ 

As low as $59/mo. for 48 mos. 

or $2098’ 


• Intel* Pentium* II Xeon™ Processor 4S0MHz with 512K Cache 
•128MB SDRAM 

• VX900 .26 Screen Pitch 19" Monitor (18" viewable) 

• 16MB nVidia RIVA TNT™ AGP Graphics 

• TV/FM Tuner Card 

• 16GB Ultra ATA Hard Drive 

• DVD-ROM & MPEG2 Decoder 

• Philips* CD-RW (CD-Rewritable) Drive 

• 3.5" Diskette Drive 

• SoundBlaster AudioPCI 64D 

• Boston Acoustics Digital MediaTheater™ 

3-Piece Speaker System 

• U.S. Robotics 56K^ Voice Winmodem 

• Tower Case 

• MuItiFunction Keyboard Si MS Intellimouse 

• Microsoft Windows 98 & MS Choice Software 

• Coteway Cold Service’ 

As low as $112/mo .for 48 mos. 
or $3999’ 


Internet access provided 

by gateway.net”" 
for $14.95/mo.* 



call 1-800-846-8571 

www.gateway.com/yourware 


Go to ^53 @ www.computergaming.com/infolink 




DVD, Internet and a Gaming Station 
all in one. You’re not dreaming. 

You may be drooling, but you’re not dreaming. 



Let’s talk about your 



Gateway. 


C 1996 GnWway 2000 Inc All righls reserved. Gateway and the Gateway slylizad logo are Iradamarks, YQur:)Wato Is a sorvica mark, and Deslmallon and Field Mojse are registered Iradomarks of Gateway 2000. Inc.Trto 
Irlal Insido Logo Intel and Ponlium are regislored trademarks, and Celeron Is a trademark o1 the Inlol Corporallon. All older brands and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks ol Itieir rospoclive companies. 
All prices and conliguralions ore subject to cnango without notice or obligation. Prices do not include shipping and handling or any other applicable ta.es^ Mary Gateway products aro cusiom-onginoerod lo Gateway 
spodlications. which may vary from retail versions of iho software and/or hardware in functionality, performance or compatibility. 1. Gateway purchases will qualify for the YourrjWaro prograrn by 1) financing through a Gateway 
aulhoiizod lender; 2) purchasing six months of galeway.nel”-; and/or 3) buying an additional software bundle. Trado-m available at any time between the first day ot lha 24lh month and Iho laslday o the 49m month after 
delwory of YourtlWaro product. Trade-in credit is only available if you purchase a new Galoway product. Gateway will give you Ihe average wholesale value on tho Your:)Waro product, in good condition es dolormined by 
Gateway's sole discrelion, using iho Ihen current Orion Blue Book or another, similar commercially reasonable induslry standard determined by Gateway. Other terms and condriions apply. Call our loll-lree riumbor for dolails. 
Loan financing available on approved credit through independent lender. Payments based on 49-monlh term and an Annual Percentage Rale as low as 14.9?i. Your APR maybe higher. 2, i access chock Ice (S2min/S15max,), 
*«lo ,0 G.„™, 

»-sitese™ceagreemenls,.andJn,s,allat»j_a<,re|;5|nl5.l4^ogrMew^^^ 

' ' by PC Technology Services. Inc. See agreements lor specific terms and 


limited warrsnty, on-site sen/ice agreements, and iristal 

will be provided for product purchased and located in ...w 

monilprs and Solo portables). On-site and installation sen/ices are administered 

limitations. 4. S14.9S gatoway.n0l pricing based on 6-monlh commilmenl. S15 lee lor early cancolialii 



Introducing Destination® XTV — the extreme television and ultimate gaming machine. 
It’s jam packed with features like a digital audio system, DVD player, AGP graphics, and 
a 27" digital television so you can play on the big screen. You name it, it’s in there. And 
with the Your:)Ware program; after two years you have the option to trade it in toward 
the purchase of a new one. That way, you’ll always keep up with the latest technological 
inventions out there. State-of-the-art computing. State-of-the-art media technologies. 
All rolled into one system. If you still think you’re dreaming, just give us a call. 


Every Gateway client is unique, and so is every Gateway™ PC. These systems are just examples 
of what we can build for you. 


Destination XTV - $1999 


27" Television 

• Ultrahigh Resolution - 600 Lines 
Progressive Scon 

• Dual Mode Screen Optimization 

• Digitally Enhanced and Line Doubled 
TV Output 

• 181-Channel, Cable-Ready 
TV Tuner Installed 

• Television Programming Guide 
with Smart Record 

• One-year Subscription for Television 
Programming Information 

• On-screen Control of VCR, Stereo 
and Other A/V Devices 


Digital Audio System 

• Creative Audio High-Fidelity 
Wavetable Sound 

• High Signal-to-Noise Ratio 
with Integrated Speakers 

• Three Audio Inputs with Analog 
and Digital Outputs 

Game Station 

• Supports Microsoft‘S Windows* 
OS-Based Games 

• Game Port and USB Connections 

• Internet Multiplayer Gaming Support 

• High-Performance 3-D Graphics 


PC Features 

• Latest Technology 
Intel® Celeron’’'"' Processor 

• Uitrafast AGP Graphics 

• 3.2GB Storage Capacity 

• Cordless Keyboard and Field Mouse® 
Universal Remote 

• Microsoft Windows 98 

■ Microsoft Home Essentials’** Software 

• Gateway Gold***' Service’ 

$1999 or as low as 
$56/mo. for 48 months' 


DVD Player 

• Full Pixel Density DVD Playback 

• C-Cube High-Performance Hardware 
MPEG Decoder 

• Dolby'"-’ Digital Output 

• Plays Audio CDs, PC Games 
and Applications 

• DVD Movie Coupon from DVD Express 


Internet access provided 

by gateway.nef" 
for $14.95/mo.^ 


Internet Access 

• Fast internet Access with Installed 56K’ 
Technology Modem 

• High-Resolution Clarity on All Sites 

• Multiple Browser and Plug-in Support 

• Data, Fax, and Visual Caller ID Alert 


Upgrades available include: 

Gamers Upgrade - $349 

• 3 Dfx’*’ Voodoo2’*’ Graphics Accelerator 

• Extreme Gaming I Software includes 
Hexen 11’*’, Heavy Gear’’*’, Quake 11’*’, and 
Battlezone’*’ 

• Extreme Gaming II Software includes 
Unreal’**, Forsaken’**, The House of The 
Dead’**, and Turok® Dinosaur Hunter 
(Content suitable for ages 17 and older.) 

• Thrustmaster* Top Gun’*' USB Joystick 

Home Theater Upgrade-$999 

■ 36" Television 

• Boston Acoustics* Digital Theater’*' 
6000 Dolby Digital Surround 
Sound System 


call 1-800-846-8571 

www.destination.com 



Go to #254 @ www.computergaming.com/infolink 



1 


REVIEW • SOUND BLASTER LIVE 




Audio Environmentalist 

Get Ready to Fork Out for Four Speakers 


by Dave Salvator 

Cl Audio has been on 
i the scene now for about 
I two years. During that 
I time, such audio-chip 
' makers as Ensoniq, 
Aureal Semiconductor, 
ESS, and Crystal Semi- 
conductor have all intro- 
duced PCI audio accelerators, with 
mixed results. In addition to mov- 
ing over to a new bus it could call 
home, audio also expanded into a 
third dimension, thanks in large 
part to Aureal Semiconductor's 
A3D standard. But missing from 
this PCI audio love-in was any par- 
ticipation from that PC audio 
Goliath, Creative Labs. 

Well, the waiting is over. 
Creative's latest offering, the 
Sound Blaster Live! (SB Live), is 
here, and it has a lot to offer. SB 
Live brings an awful lot together, 
including its own Environmental 
Audio Extensions (EAX) and 
DirectSound acceleration for 
games, two very solid wavetable 
synthesizers, digital audio in/out, 
and ample real-time effects pro- 
cessing horsepower that's ideal for 
dabbling musicians. So the news 
about SB Live is for the most part 
very good, but there are a few 
gotchas to consider. 


COMPUTER^ 

GAMING 


-WORLD 




APPEAL: Gamers with a musical bent 
who can afford four speakers. 

PROS: Very solid DirectSound accel- 
erator; excellent digital connectivity; 
very cool real-time effects processing; 
great wavetable. 

CONS: Needs four speakers to really 
achieve optimal effect; doesn't support 
A3D; pricey. 

Price: S199 

Marulaclurei: Creative Labs 
Milpitas. CA 
(800) 998-1000 


Get Live 

The SB Live arrives with 
ample bundleware, and installa- 
tion of the card proved to be a 
breeze. Once you've installed 
everything (you can pick and 
choose which apps you want to 
install), you'll find that your 
Desktop has grown a second 
"Start" menu. This second menu is 
for tweaking the SB Live, and there 
are actually quite a few bells and 
whistles to play with. Creative 
helps you out here; The interface 
makes most of the tweaks fairly 
comprehensible, 

SB Live contains several new 
goodies, although only some are 
specifically aimed at gamers. The 
most noticeable thing is real-time 
effects processing of all audio — 
Wave, MIDI, Line-In, and Audio-CD. 
More than just reverb and chorus, 
these effects include flanging, 
echo, and pitch shifting. Each effect 
can be tweaked, and you can cre- 
ate audio environments in which 
you can run up to four of these 
effects simultaneously. 

SB Live also ships with many 
preconfigured environments for 
already shipping games, and while 
these environments are a blanket 
effect for all audio played in the 
game, they can add to the overall 
effect. Curiously absent from all 
these controls is a graphic EQ for 
tonal shaping. 

In some close listening tests 
using headphones, SB Live's two 
line outputs for speakers were very 
clean, and the chip was hiss-free 
with all mixer faders at full gain 
(without audio playing). 

For new games, Creative is 
courting game developers with its 
EAX technology, which is an API 
extension to DirectSound 3D that 
adds reverberant characteristics to 
different parts of a gameworld, 
With this technology, each room in 
a game can sound different. 
Creative's technology doesn't use 
room geometry from the graphics 



engine, but 
rather applies predefined 
approximations for size and reflec- 
tivity of a room. However, these 
approximations do a pretty good 
job of making big rooms sound big 
and small rooms sound, of all 
things, small, 

But, there's a catch: Creative 
says that you’ll want to have a 
four-channel speaker setup (two 
fronts, two rears, and a subwoofer) 
to get the most out of EAX, and 
from my testing, using four chan- 
nels is the only way to go. During 
gameplay in the EAX-enhanced 
version of UNREAL, you get terrific 
ambient effects and 3D positional 
audio, but SB Live’s 3D positional 
audio in two speakers is just 
underwhelming. To make a four- 
channel setup enticing, Cambridge 
SoundWofks now ships a four- 
channel version of its PCWorks 
speakers for $99. Or if you like your 
current speakers, you can get a 
pair of low-cost satellites to use as 
your rear-channel speakers. Either 
way though, you're looking at 
additional cost to get the optimal 
effect from SB Live. 

The Hard Sell 

Creative's EAX technology does 
work well in four speakers, but in 
wooing game developers, Creative 
faces several serious challenges. 
First, there aren’t that many SB 
Lives out there yet, and Creative is 
aiming SB Live squarely at the 
retail channel. For system makers. 
Creative is pushing its Sound 
Blaster PC1 128, which is a decent 


part, but it lacks the 
horsepower of SB Live. Also, one of 
Creative's primary competitors, 
Aureal Semiconductor, has a year- 
and-a-half lead in evangelizing its 
A3D standard, which many games 
have already adopted. And at press 
time, boards based on Aureal's 
new Vortex 2 chip were getting 
pretty close to shipping, and SB 
Live doesn't have support for A3D. 

Aside from Creative's EAX and 
Aureal's A3D, the other API is 
Microsoft's DirectSound 3D, which 
over time will begin to absorb 
some of the current features found 
in these two proprietary technolo- 
gies. But until then, we'll have to 
wade through the muck stirred up 
by competing standards. 

Final Mix-Down 

In Sound Blaster Live!, you have 
a solid DirectSound 3D accelerator 
with the added pizzazz of EAX for 
an even more immersive effect. But 
to really get the full effect, you'll 
need to augment your speaker 
setup with a pair of rear channels. 

If you're a musician with a gaming 
bent, then SB Live offers quite a 
few enticing features, including 
digital audio in/out via SP/DIF con- 
nectors on a second back panel. 
But because of the current API 
belching contest, SB Live won't 
support Aureal's A3D standard; 
tides using that API will be acceler- 
ated either via DirectSound3D or 
not at all. 


A 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


photo; Michae 





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INTERLINK ELECTRONICS DESKSTICK • REVIEW 


Nipple Ring 


by Dave Salvator 

■ hen laptop makers 
f were trying to devel- 
f op a convenient, 
portable pointing 
device, they came up 
with several design 
innovations, including the 
TouchPad and the TrackPoint. This 



COMPUTER^ 


GAMENG 


-WORLD 




APPEAL Gamers never properly 
weaned from their laptops, 

PROS: It works; nifty colored nipple 
covers. 


CONS; Abysmal mouse for use in 
games; somewhat unwieldy for selecting 
specific objects on screen. 


Price: S59 

ManufaciLter: Interlink Electronics, Itic. 


latter design, pioneered by IBM, 
used a pencil eraser-sized 
"mouse-as-joystick" approach 
and found favor among laptop 
makers for several years — 
although the newer TouchPad 
design is currently more popular 
on laptops, Now, Interlink 
Electronics is trying to find a new 
home for the TrackPoint-type 
pointing device: your desktop rig. 

Its new DeskStick mouse is rel- 
atively comfortable to use, and 
business application users accus- 
tomed to this type of pointer will 
feel right at home. There's just 
one problem: DeskStick makes a 
terrible mouse for gaming. 

DeskStick installs without inci- 
dent and connects via a 9-pin ser- 
ial port or a PS/2-style mouse 
port. Its software installed easily 
and was well-behaved running on 



Windows 98, and 
offers basic tweaks for speed 
and acceleration, DeskStick works 
fine as a Desktop pointing device, 
although driving the GUI with this 
type of controller takes some get- 
ting used to if you never had one 
in a laptop. Where DeskStick 
squarely falls down is when you 
go to boot up your favorite 
games. 

In a quick jaunt through 
QUAKE, DeskStick correctly emu- 
lated a normal mouse, but trying 
to accurately mouse-look with it 
proved to be nearly impossible. 


When entering a 
room, if a mon- 
ster attacked 
from behind or 
from a side, 
turning around 
to return fire 
was awkward 
and made 
general move- 
ment through levels much 
more difficult. Next, I took it for a 
spin in AGE OF EMPIRES. Here 
again, it funaioned correctly but 
wasn't very easy to use, primarily 
because click-dragging — an 
essential function for selecting 
groups of units — is awkward. 

If you pine for that old 
TrackPoint mouse you had on 
your last laptop. DeskStick is the 
mouse for you. But if you want a 
mouse that's good for gaming, ; 
consider something else, such as 
Logitech's MouseMan-i-. 







by Loyd Case 

T he GenX 700 looks cool, 
doesn't cost much, and has 
lots of features, all of which 
sounds great on paper, but 
when you dig underneath, 
you find that it lacks some- 
thing important: control. 

computer' 1 

w«-^RI,D I 




APPEAL: Gamers on a budget looking 
for an all-in-one game controller. 

PROS: It's a multipurpose controller; 
easy throttle conVol. 

CONS; Action Is too light and too 
vague; buttons have fixed key assign- 
ments. 

Price: $‘!9.99 

Manufacturer: Quickshot Technology 
(408) 263-4163 


wvm.quickshot.c 


REVIEW • QUICKSHOT GENX 700 CONTROLLER 


The GenX 700 comes with 
two Windows 9x drivers: 
One supports analog 
throttle and the other 
supports analog hat. 
You have to manually 
shift the non-analog 
device into "digital" 
mode or the game 
will get confused. 

1 ran the GenX 700 
through a couple of flight 
sims and BAniEZONE.The throttle 
actually works pretty well, but the 
handle action was far too light for 
my taste. Worse, the action was 
vague and imprecise, and I found it 
nearly impossible to get good flight 
control out of it. 

All in all, I suggest giving the 
GenX 700 a pass — or maybe give 
it to a friend who wants to make 
an artistic statement on their desk- 
top, rather than actually play 
games. K'il.'J 


Style Over Substance 


The GenX 700 is a big con- 
troller, but it's lightweight and sits 
in your lap fairly easily. The han- 
dle is comfortable — although 
it's a tad too contoured for 
my taste. On the left side is 
a large, oblong shape that 
looks vaguely like one 
of the Zerglings from 
STARCRAFT. It’s actu- 
ally the throttle 
control and turns 
out to be quite 
comfortable. It's 
easily the best thing 
about this controller. 

The GenX requires a keyboard 
pass-through as well as a game 
controller connection, I had no 
problems attaching it to a Falcon 
Northwest Pentium II system, 
which is good because that 
means that the controller doesn't 
have any issues with fast key- 
board ports. 


The keyboard pass-through 
serves one function: to pass along 
the fixed key assignments of the 
"digital" buttons. The GenX 700 is 
nor a programmable device. For 
example, if you shift the rotational 
handle into digital mode, the han- 
dle issues a (comma) character. 
While this is a common key assign- 
ment for rudders, if you don't like a 
particular keystroke being issued, 
you're out of luck. 


I'.computefgaming.c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD • DECEMBER 1996 






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Saitek Cyborg 3D Pad 


REVIEW • KENWOOD MULTIBEAM 40X PLUS CD-ROM DRIVE 


Zen and the Art of CD-ROM 



by Loyd Case 

I first came across Zen Research 
at this year's Computer Game 
Developer's conference, back in 
May. The firm was showing a 
CD-ROM drive that could play 
full-motion, full-screen, uncom- 
pressed video from a CD with nary 
a pause. It was amazing. The trick 
is to have multiple laser beams — 
computer' 1 

gamimg] 




APPEAL: Gamers tired of waiting for 
the dreaded spin up. 

PROS: Fast where it counts — games. 
CONS: Slow on benchmarks; too 
expensive; no SCSI version. 

Price: SI 29 

Manufacturer: Kenwood Technologies 
(4D8) 863-6800 



either multiple emitters or a prism- 
like mechanism that splits the read 
laser into multiple beams. 

Needless to say, I was eager to 
check out this drive. The first com- 
pany to ship drives that use Zen's 
technology is Kenwood, which is 
trying to break into the data side of 
the electronics business. 

This drive is one of those break- 
throughs that will confound product 
reviewers everywhere. First, it really 
only spins at around 1 0x speed. It 
uses seven beams, which are split 
by a mirror mechanism, to read 
multiple tracks simultaneously. The 
problem is that WinBench 98's CD- 
ROM benchmarks don't do this 
technology justice. According to 
WinBench 98, the maximum trans- 
fer rate of the drive is around 
2.7MB/sec — more like an 18x drive, 
and well under the 6MB/sec stat 
that Kenwood touts. Access time is 
right around 100ms — that's okay 


performance, but 
it's not great. 

The overall CD- 
ROM WinMark 
is 1,410 — better 
than 18x drives, but 
still not as high 
as the Pioneer 
32X, which 
comes in at 
around 1,700. 

The interesting data point is 
that, even with DMA enabled, the 
inner track and the outer track both 
pumped out 2.7MB/5ec, which 
you'd expect from a constant linear 
velocity (CLV) drive. 

This goes to show that WinBench 
98's CD-ROM tests have some limi- 
tations. So I timed the installation 
of UNREAL, which loads about 
330MB of stuff onto a disk, includ- 
ing a fairly large number of files. 
Most are sequential (as is most 
data on game CDs). On the 


Multibeam, UNREAL installed in 
2:46. On the Pioneer — which got a 
higher CD-ROM WinMark — UNREAL 
took 5:47 to install. Holy moley! 

Since the drive spins relatively 
slowly, it never spins down. This 
alone makes the Kenwood special. 

The Kenwood drive goes for 
around Si 29 — pretty enticing. The | 
lack of spin-down and speedy game 
installs make this a drive worth 
considering, except, of course, for 
its lack of a SCSI version. 




From the makers of the award-winning X36 Joystick 


Look for us in your favorite retail outlets or visit our web site at http://www.saitekusa.com 


Upgrade your pad 


Rudder/steering function: 


Get the ultimate in style, features, and 
comfort. Easy mode selector allows 
instant set-up for arcade, driving, 
or flying games. Rotary throttle, 
rudder/steering control, full 4-axis 
control, adjustable palm grips - you 
get it all. Saitek's Ratio Digital Tech- 
nology makes your game run faster. 


Mini Joystick 


8-way 
directional 
thumb pa^ 


Adjustable \ 
palm grips 


An exceptional value. 

Cyborg Programmable 3D 
Digital Game Pad 
For use with all PC games / Ideal for all 30 games 


On back: 

-2 'squeeze' buttons 
-Rotary throttle 
-4 triggers 


photo: Michael Falcc 




REVIEW • MICROSOFT NATURAL KEYBOARD ELITE 




Microsoft's Unnatural Act 


by Loyd Case 

I hat were the folks in 
I Redmond thinking? 

I'm a fan of the origi- 
nal Microsoft Natural 
Keyboard. I write more 
than ever, and my 
hands used to ache after a day of 



COMPUTER 

GAMING 




APPEAL People who want to appear 
smart and hip. 

PROS: It fits in a smaller apace than 
did the original. 

CONS; Tiny function keys and brain- 
dead utility keys make this a hopeless 
choice for gamers. 

Price: $60 

Manufacturer: Microsoft 
[425] 882-8080 


pounding out copy. The Natural 
Keyboard relaxed the position 
of my hands, and now things 
have gotten much better. 

So when I heard that 
Microsoft was coming out with 
a USB version of the Natural 
Keyboard, I was keenly inter- 
ested. The good news is that it 
does work on USB under Windows 
98, and it fits in a slightly smaller 
space on your desk. That's about all 
the good news. 

Someone at Microsoft decided 
that all those smaller keyboard 
trays — the ones that wouldn't 
hold the full size Natural 
Keyboard — needed to be occu- 
pied by the Redmond company, 
too. So they made the keyboard 
smaller. In the process, the func- 
tion keys got smaller. Worse, the 
arrow keys are now in a diamond 
pattern instead of an inverted T. I 
could have gotten used to that — 



but they also shrank the arrow 
keys. I have stubby fingers and 
I'm a touch typist. So half the 
time when I reach up for a func- 
tion key on the Elite, I miss it 
entirely. The other half of the 
time, my finger sort of glances off 
it. Ditto for the arrow keys. 

They also rotated the Page 
Down/Home cluster 90 degrees. 
Instead of two rows of three keys, 
there are now three rows of two 
keys. Dammit, my hands have 
been trained by hours of playing 


3D shooters 
that the Page Down 
key is there. Uh-oh, it's 
not. Uh-oh, I'm fragged. Did I 
mention that they also made 
those keys smaller? 

I've heard inklings that Micro- 
soft may have seen the error of its 
ways and may be revamping the 
keyboard again. My advice is sim- 
ple: Stick with the original layout 
and just add USB support. Mean- 
while, you should avoid this lame 
excuse for a keyboard. After test- I 
ing the Elite, I immediately went 2 
out a bought two more of the :s 
originals. You should, too, if you | 
can find one. 2317 -I 



Pliin.i Tlr-t-s For 
Ajjiioricrr 


^his is the 125th Anniversary of Arbor Day, 
the tree planters’ holiday. This year The National 
Arbor Day Foundation asks you to plant Trees 
for America, and provide for their care. 


Trees Make a World of Difference. Thanks to 
trees we enjoy shadier streets, greener city parks, 
and friendlier neighborhoods. Trees also produce 
oxygen, absorb carbon dioxide, and help keep the 
atmosphere in balance. 


This year, plant Trees for America. For your 
free brochure, write: Trees for America, The Na- 
tional Arbor Day Foundation, Nebraska City, NE 


68410. 



The National 

Arbor Day Foundation" 


www.arborday.org 





Saitek R4 Force 


REVIEW • LOGITECH WINCAAAN FORCE 


A Ship Without a 


by Dave Salvator 

r orce-feedback can be a real 
nuisance. I know CGlVhas 
been saying what a wonder- 
ful thing force-feedback is, 
and this does hold true for 
force-feedback technology's 
potential, But potential is one 
"computer^ 1 




APPEAL Gamers and fiight-sim jock- 
eys who can live without rudder p^als. 
PROS: Very good force effects; !-Force- 
compatible; can be used with l-Force 
Studio force editor. 

CONS: No rudder control; can't be 
used with rudder pedals; cheap-feeling 
view-hat. 


Price; SlSCKslreet) 
Mariijfaciuret: Logitech 
(510) 79S-8500 



thing, and having it bring some- 
thing compelling to play is quite 
another. Force-feedback is another 
one of those technologies in which 
the hardware is leading the soft- 
ware, Game development lags, but 
there's a crop of force-feedback 
hardware at the ready. Most of the 
aaion is currently in force-feedback 
wheels, but Logitech is now ship- 
ping its WingMan Force, a third- 
generation force-feedback stick 
that gets a lot right, with one big 
exception; no rudder functionality. 

Force-feedback devices need 
bidirectional communication, and 
WingMan Force connects via either 
a serial port or, more impressively, 
USB. When connecting via the lat- 
ter, the device is auto-detected by 
Windows 95/98, and after feeding 
the driver CD, WingMan Force is 
ready to rumble. 

The WingMan ships with an 
easy-to-use programming front-end. 



Rudder 

You've got five buttons you 
can drive with your left 
hand, and four more 
on the stick itself. 

The throttle is a 
wheel design 
that works fine, 
though it lacks detentes 
at either end. The one rough spot is 
WingMan's view hat, whose eight 
points aren’t well defined, and the 
result can be unplanned (and 
unwanted) jumping between views 
at the wrong moment. But the 
biggest letdown is WingMan's lack 
of rudder function, and its inability 
to work with analog rudder pedals. 

Where WingMan really shines is 
how it renders forces. Its motors 
accurately reproduce forces up to 
250Hz, which means that subtle 
forces are more realistically ren- 
dered. And because WingMan 
supports Immersion's l-Force tech- 
nology, you can use Immersion's 


excellent 
l-Force Studio force editor. Logitech 
includes it on the CD, but it's a crip- 
pled version. Upgrading to the full 
version costs SI 8.95. 

Logitech has come close with 
WingMan Force. It delivers higher 
resolution force effects than 
Microsoft's stick, but because of 
Logitech's glaring lack of rudder 
functionality, Microsoft's Side- 
Winder Force-Feedback Pro still has 
the overall edge. If you can live 
without your rudders, then 
WingMan Force is a well-done stick. 
But if you can't make that trade-off, 
then give this one a pass. 



From the makers of the award-winning X36 Joystick 


Look for us in your favorite retail outlets or visit our web site at http://www.saitekusa.com 


Upgrade your experience 


Feel the road through tiie wheel with 
the ultimate "force feedback" wheel. 
Incorporates Microsoft* on board force 
processor for full tactile response. And 
it's game port plug and play - no 
messy serial connections. Unparalleled 
ergonomics for lasting driving comfort 
puts you firmly in the drivers seat. 


2 wheel mounted 
buttons 


Adjustable 
resistance on 
wheel 




An exceptional value. 


R4 Force Feedback Wheel 


Fast action 
stick shift or 
paddle shifts 


Ergonomic, stable 
floor pedals 


Adjustable 
resistance on pedals 


Powered by Microsoft* Force Feedback” Technology 


it's time to upgrade 


photo: Michael Falcon 





CREATE your squad by choosing 

from 50 diffareut soldiers and 
a formidable arsenal of weapons. 
Missile launchers, heavy flamers 
and a full psyker combat, system 
are all at your disposal. 


WINDOWS' 95 CD-ROM 


DEVELOPED BY 


VmSKSHO? 








COMMAND the vehicles of the 

Warhammeii*’ 40,000 universe: Predator 
tanks, Jfhino APCs,*Land Speeders 
afid Dreadndughts. 


OUILU custom missions lyith the powerful 
and extremely fle)^ib|e Mission Editor. 


TO ORDER • Visit your retailer or call, l-800-7IB-3SDS^ 
with Visa/MC (North America only). 


©1998 Slralegic Simulations, Inc. All lights leseived. The S 
Woikshop Lld.'Waihammer, Games Woihsliop and 


Ind. Allwork and imagery ©1998 Games 
, TeinTnalors and Devastators are 


All otner trademarks and legisteroil Irademaiks are Hie properly of IlieIr, respective holders. 

Go to #132 @ www.computergaming.com/infolink 






'The monthly payment exclude 

met undanrrilinfl guidelines h 
Household Bank. I.a.b., a leder 


'B shipping and handling charges. This monlhly payment is based on a lliea Annual Percentage Rale ol 13.99% with a repsymont te 
ur aclual annual percenlago rale may range between 13.99% and 20.99%. Final approval and your rata are aubieci lo verlliaalkm ol : 
im Initial advance ol 81,000 Is required. Rales and repayment terms are In olleel es ol October, 1999. and are sub|ect to change then 
ings bank and an Equal Housing Lender. Household Bonk Is a registered mark ol Household International, Inc, 


ir. The Micron Loan Program I 


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THE MOST TRUSTED REVIEWS FOR 17 YEARS 




F22 TOTAL AIR WAR 






The title pretty much sums it up. Page 361 


This Month 

CGW Editors' Choice Games Are Indicated in Yellow I 

GAME 

RATING 

PAGE 

Ares Rising 

* * A A A 

376 

Commandos 

A A A A A 

406 

Deathtrap Dungeon 

A A A A A 

351 

Dune 2000 

A A A A A 

408 

Emergency: Fighters for Life 

A A A A A 

420 

F22 Total Air War 

A A A A 


Fighter Ace 1.5 

A A A A A 

373 

Gex: Enter the Gecko 

A A A A A 

356 

Golden Tee Golf 

A A A A A 

404 

iF/A-1 8 Hornet 

A A A A A 

364 

Independence War 

Israeli Air Force 

A A A A A 

370 

Looney Tunes Cosmic Capers 

A A A A A 

425 


Motocross Madness 


NFL Gameday 99 

A A A A A 

386 

Not Yet 

A A A * A 

425 

People's General 

A A A A A 

418 

Play This, Play That 

A A A A A 

425 

Rainbow Six 

A A A A A 

342 

Redline Racer 

A A A A A 

394 

Revenge of Arcade 

A A A A A 

356 

Spearhead 

A A A A A 

378 

Stratosphere 

A A A A A 

352 

Tiger Woods 99 

A A A A A 

398 

Total Annihilation: Battle Tactics 

A A A A A 

420 

Urban Assault 

A A A A A 

346 

Warbirds 2.01 

A A A A A 

382 

Warlords III: Darktord Rising 


\ The Game Genres \ 


Our reviews are 
categorized by genre. 
Not every game fits 
neatly into a single 
genre, but here's how 
we define the cate- 
gories in general: 

Action Games that emphasize 
fast gameplay over story or 
strategy. 

Adventure Games that require 
you to solve puzzles to move 
through a story line 


Classics/Puzzle ClassiG are old 
standbys such as Chess and 
MONOPOLY. Puzzle games empha- 
size problem-solving without 
requiring gamers to follow a story. 
Role-Playing A subset of 
adventure games, these stress 
character development through 
attributes. The gameworld tends 
to be large; the plot less linear. 
Simulations Highly realistic 
games from a first-person per- 
spective, including flight sims and 
space simulations. 

Sports A broad genre encom- 
passing action sports games, such 


as NBA LIVE; strategic sports 
games, such as EPS FOOTBALL; 
and even driving games, such as 
CART PRECISION RACING. 
Strategy Problem-solving and 
planning are the keys here. These 
games emphasize resource and 
risk-management. Includes con- 
flict-based sci-fi and fantasy 
games as well as construction pro- 
grams like SlMCITY. 

Wargames A subset of strategy 
games, these re-create historical 
conflicts from a command per- 
spective. They may be tactical, 
operational, or strategic 


How Do We Rate? We review only finished products, not prerelease versions. The ratings are as foilovK: 


★ Ar Ar ★ ★ 

Outstanding The rare 
game that gets it all right. 
A must-play experience. 


★ ★ Ar A A 

Very Good Worthy of 
your time and money, but 
there are drawbacks. 


A AAA A 

Average Either an ambi- 
tious design with major 
flaws, or simply vanilla. 


A A A A A 

Weak Seriously lacking in 
play value, poorly conceived, 
or just another clone. 


A A A A A 

Abysmal The rare game 
that gets it all wrong. 
Pathetic. Coaster material. 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD « DECEMBER 1998 


ilk 


^.compulergamlng.r 














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STRATEGY/WARGAMES 


CGW Reviews Index These Are the Games We Have Reviewed in the Last Three Months 


Game 

Publisher 

Month 

Page 

CGW Rating 

Addiction Pinbaii 

MicroProse 

October 

233 

.-’c ;c A A 

Army Men 

3D0 

September 

229 

A ^ ± A 

Beast Wars: Transformers 

Hasbro Interactive 

October 

233 

. V ,V ■, ; - 

Get Medieval 

Monolith 

November 

282 

•k t: k -k -k 

Heart of Darkness 

Interplay 

November 

269 

;V /v A: 

incoming 

Xicat 

November 

264 

k k k k >; 

iazz Jackrabbit 2 

Epic Megagames 

October 

233 

A- /;■ >■ ;V 

Monster Truck Madness 2 

Microsoft 

September 

228 

A A- k A-' * 

Mortal Kombat 4 

Midway 

November 

277 

/.• ..V Xu 

Nam 

GT Interactive 

November 

280 

k k -k -A 

Quake II: The Reckoning 

id Software 

September 

224 

v i*; i,- J A 

Rampage World Tour 

Midway 

Oaober 

230 

k k k y. 

Redneck Rampage Rides Again 

Interplay 

October 

230 

u X <- ■■■ 

Spec Ops: Rangers Lead the Way 

Ripcord 

September 

225 

k k ■/: k 

Terra: Battle for the Outland 

Kaon Interactive 

October 

230 

V 

Unreal 

GT Interactive 

September 

220 

■/c A A * 

Vangers 

Interactive Magic 

October 

224 

/.■ A - 

Final Fantasy Vil 

Eidos 

November 

286 

A A A' :-r 

Sanitarium 

ASC Games 

September 

238 

}\ j.'r A A 

Starship Titanic 

Simon and Schuster 

September 

236 

-.V 

X-Files 

Fox Interactive 

September 

230 

A- A ..V 


Jewels II: The Ultimate Challenge 

Hoffmann and Associates 

November 

328 

A A’ A A A 

Leisure Suit Larry's Casino 

Sierra 

October 

287 

k k k k k 

Mega Solitaire 

Pailadium Interactive 

October 

290 

A A- -A 

Monopoly World Cup '98 

Hasbro 

September 

266 


Sorry 

Hasbro 

September 

267 

A /s' ,C A 

Ultimate 3D Puzzle 

GlobalStar Software 

September 

267 

A A- A ★ k 

Ultimate IQ Test 

Virtual Entertainment 

September 

267 

A- A- A A 

747-400 Precision Simulator 

Aerowinx/High Flight 

September 

247 

/f A ri i\‘ -A 

Comanche Gold 

Novalogic 

September 

247 

k k k k k 

Descent: Freespace 

Interplay 

October 

236 

i\ A A 

F-22 ADF Red Sea Operations 

Infogrames/DID 

September 

247 

k k k k k 

Jetfighter: Full Burn 

Mission Studios/Interplay 

November 

305 

-i i\ A k A 

Team Apache 

Mindscape 

September 

240 

>\ k A k 

X-COM Interceptor 

MicroProse 

October 

241 

:•< V * -A 


3D Hunting: Trophy Whitetail 

Macmillan Computer Publishing 

November 

299 


Castrol Honda Superbike World Champions 

Intense Entertainment Interactive 

October 

250 

/i 'V k 

Fox Sports Golf '99 

Fox Sports Interactive 

November 

290 

■\ r: 

Fox Sports Soccer '99 

Fox Sports Interactive 

October 

264 

Ac k A k k 

Game, Net 8r Match 

Blue Byte 

September 

264 

*- A, A A 

Microsoft Baseball 3D 1998 

Microsoft 

October 

252 

k A k k 

Microsoft Golf 1998 

Miaosoft 

Oaober 

260 

\ A 


Cyberstorm 2 

Sierra 

Odober 

270 


Dominion: Storm Over Gift 3 

Eidos 

October 

280 

A .V *. A- 

Extreme Tactics 

Piranha 

September 

262 

.V ,v ■ 

Incubation: The Wilderness Missions 

Blue Byte 

Oaober 

284 

.’f A A 

Industry Giant 

Interactive Magic 

September 

261 

<; 

Insurrection: Campaigns for StarCraft 

Aztech New Media 

October 

284 

k A 

MAX 2 

interplay 

October 

276 

I- 

MechCommander 

MicropProse 

Oaober 

267 


Medieval 

Incredible Simulations 

Oaober 

282 


Operational Art of War 

TalonSoft 

September 

250 

.’v \ V 

Police Quest: SWAT 2 

Sierra 

November 

314 


Tribal Rage 

TalonSoft 

October 

284 


WarGames 

MGM Interactive 

November 

324 

! ••• t:: 


^.computcrg.immfi 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 199B 


REVIEW • TOM CLANCY'S RAINBOW SIX 


No Pot of Gold 

RAINBOW SIX Is an Ambitious Might-Have-Been 


by Raphael Liberatore 

olding my breath, I 
ordered, "Alpha, go!" 
Flash grenades detonat- 
ed with muffled pops, 
followed by the distinct 
puff-puff of subsonic 
rounds fired from sup- 
pressed MPSs. "Tango's 
down! Tango's down!" blurted a 
commando. "Hostages secure," 
said another. "Bravo, go! ” My men 
and I blitzed down the hall as the 
clap-clap-clap of three AKs rang 
out from the small firelight erupt- 
ing in the room ahead. Screams of 
hostages and commandos taking 
hits stung my ears, terror ringing in 
every syllable. "Man down! Man 
down) We need backup, now! " In 
the doorway. Blue Team's leader 
slumped to the ground beside two 
computer'' 1 




APPEAL: SpecOps 
and military buffs 
who enjoy detailed 
planning. 

PROS; 

Outstanding real- 
ism: excellent 
graphics and 
sound; fluid action; 
fantastic tutorial; 
great multiplayer options. 

CONS; Game crashing bugs (a patch 
now exists); faulty Al; clipping problems; 
tedious mission planning. 

DIFFICULTY: Advanced. 

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: Pentium 
166,Windovirs 95/98, 16MB RAM, 100MB 
hard-drive space, 4x CD ROM, 16 bit 
SVGA video, Sound Blaster 1 6-<ompatible 
sound card, 28.8 modem forTCP/IP play. 
3D SUPPORT; Direct 3D. nVidia RIVA, 
3Dtx. 

MULTIPLAYER SUPPORT: Modem (2 
players); LAN, Internet (2-4 players 
each); 1 CD per player. 

Price: S49.95 

Publisher: Red Storm Eniertairmenl 


Morrisviile. NC 
(919) 460-1776 



bodies. Quickly setting my weapon 
to full auto, I signaled my team to 
engage.... 

Welcome to RAINBOW SIX (R6). 
Based on Tom Clancy's recent best- 
seller, RAINBOW SIX is the code 
name for an elite unit specializing 
in counterterrorist and CQB (Close 
Quarters Battle) operations. As I'm 
a former SpecOps team member, a 
game that emphasizes planning 
and executing counterterrorist 
operations holds obvious appeal 
for me. Unfortunately, R6 doesn't 
quite meet its mission goals, shoot- 
ing itself in the foot when it should 
be taking out terrorists. 


The Best-Laid Plans 

After some opening FMV that 
details the establishing of the 
RAINBOW Six unit as a response to 
growing global terrorism, you can 
train in several obstacle courses, 
gun ranges, and kill houses mod- 
eled after real elite forces' training 
environments. While the game's 
multiple keyboard commands will 
take you a while to master, the 
realism and technical accuracy of 
CQB training is impressive, school- 
ing you in fire and movement, 
planning, and teamwork. 

R6 combines planning and 
action, but the game's blood and 



SILENT HUNTER Taking out your adversaries quietly is essential 
for success. With these guys out you can woric your way to free- 
ing the hostage, represented by the white drde on the map. 





guts reside in the mission-planning 
phase. Once a new campaign is 
selected, the game takes you to 
your first Mission Briefing. There 
you'll meet advisors who quickly 
set the scene and tell you your 
mission goals. 

Next comes the Intel screen, at 
which point you gather back- 
ground information on suspected 
terrorists and their organizations, 
key biographies, news clippings, 
and anything else pertinent to your 
assigned mission. Together, the 
Mission Briefing and Intel screens 
create a world full of machinations, 
adding to an already realistic gam- 
ing experience. 

You can choose up to eight 
operatives per mission from an 
international pool of elite counter- 
terrorists. Operative bios detail 
their crosstraining and skill levels 
in assault, demolitions, electronics, 
and reconnaissance as well as rat- 
ings in leadership, stamina, aggres- 
sion, and more. Remarkably, it 
struck me that none of R6's U.S. 
operatives had served with any of 
the United States' elite military 
units, such as SOF Delta, Navy 
Seals, or Army Special Forces. For a 
game so concerned with realism, 
it's a notable omission. 

Later, you pick each operative’s 
equipment, called kits, before 
assigning each man to a team. R6 
allows up to four teams for deploy- 
ment. Choosing equipment from 
the provided arsenal is a breeze 
and includes the popular MP5 or 
CAR-1 5 as well as flash-bangs and 
body armor — R6 even has assault 
uniforms for a variety of terrain. 
After a few missions, you'll learn 
what equipment to take and what 
to leave behind. 

After you've chosen and outfit- 
ted your team, it's time to plan the 
actual operation. Using a complex, 
3D model of your mission site, you 
can plot waypoints and coordinate 
your team's actions via a simple, 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD - DECEMBER 1998 


/.compulerfiaming.t 




TOM CLANCY'S RAINBOW SIX • REVIEW 





Cleaning House 

Finally, your teams 
deploy at the mis- 
sion insertion point. 

You play as one 
team leader from either a first- or 
third-person perspective, with your 
team shadowing your every move, 
regardless of waypoints. If you're 
killed or incapacitated, you can 
switch alter egos. At this point, all 
that planning goes out the window 
and success depends more on your 
shooting skills than your planning 
aptitude. In fact, if you're particu- 
larly good, you can complete some 
missions solo. However, this is not 
very realistic. 

Orders that you've given direct 
the actions of other teams, and you 
can change their engagement mode 
at any point by clicking on the Rules 
of Engagement keys. The action 
phase ends when all mission objec- 
tives have been met or all terrorists 
have been eliminated. 

Combat is real and fluid, with 
one well-placed shot dropping a 
terrorist in his tracks in most cases. 


KNOCK, KNOCK, YOU'RE DEAD Opening 
doors is particularly hazardous. You'll 
have to rely on your reflexes to survive or 
end up like tills loser. 


THIS OLD KILL HOUSE Mission intricacies are planned out 
before deployment using 3D models of aisis sites. 




HAVING A TIME-OUT RAINBOW SIX'S faulty Al leads to inexplica- 
ble things like this barely visible R6 operative getting stuck in 


Smoothly animated characters, 
realistic 3D graphics, and ambient 
sound work together to build a 
sense of tension as opposed to the 
gore-soaked mayhem of other first- 
person games like QUAKE II. 

Multiplayer options include LAN 
or Internet play with free Mplayer 
service. Setting up the multiplayer 


Is a bit cumbersome, but it's worth 
the effort. To command other play- 
ers during Internet play, you'll need 
Voxware. Co-op play is addiaive, 
but deathmatch is less enjoyable. 


Friendly Fire 

Despite ambitious stabs at 
realism and fluid gameplay, R6 


Counterterrorism 101 


M atch the team's specialty to mission objectives: If the mission calls for reconnais- 
sance, use the operatives with the best stealth; to bug a phone, use operatives 
skilled in both stealth and electronics. Also, assign one demolition expert per team 
for breaching doors and disarming grenades. 

Use Ding Chavez as your main alter ego. With the best skills of all operatives, he'll increase 
your chances of survival and, therefore, success. 

Use the Sniper mode and cover to eliminate tangos from a distance and avoid direct coii- 
tiict. Keep flash-bangs to a minimum because they are weak imitations of the real thing. 

Remember to rest your operatives from mission to mission since fatigue will adversely 
affect their performance. In fact, preserve your men by planning a mission with two two- 
man teams. Lead one while using the other as backup. You can exploit the inadequate Al to 
beat most missions this way. 

Apply the military acronym KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) when planning waypoints. Use 
Alpha Codes for one team, while assigning Bravo Codes and Charlie Codes to other teams. 
Use the Delta Codes for special actions, such as disamiing bombs or escorting prisoners. 


has some serious glitches. First 
and foremost, the Al is wanting — 
both team members and terrorists 
often act like zombies. Terrorists 
continue patrolling outdoors and 
stroll past dead comrades, while 
others completely ignore getting 
shot at or blinded by flash-bangs. 
Once you get inside, however, the 
enemy Al is tough and challeng- 
ing. Your supposedly elite team 
members aren't immune to Al 
deficiencies either — at times they 
seem to wantXo get killed. 

I considered myself fortunate if 
team members moved beside me 
rather than in front of my firing 
reticle. A few times, I was forced 
into locating missing team mem- 
bers stuck in corners or running in 
circles. Who trained these guys? 

Out of the box, R6 is a buggy 
game that crashes frequently. Red 
Storm promptly released a patch, 
and I suffered only one crash after 
Installing it. Additionally, clipping 
problems have both operatives and 
terrorists popping through wails. 
Also, you cannot adjust your 
mouse speed. 

In spite of all this, I still find 
myself coming back again and 
again to play RAINBOW SIX. 

While the folks at Red Storm 
obviously did their homework on 
counterterrorist operations (and 
the technical realism shows), the 
faulty Al and game-killing bugs 
get in the way of what could 
have been a benchmark game — 
a game troubled by what it could 
have been. 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD • DECEMBER 19! 


'M.mrm-MU 








REVIEW • URBAN ASSAULT 


Life During Wartime 

Same Old Supertank, Different Story 


by Pete Scisco 

he hybrid aaion-strategy 
URBAN ASSAULT is framed 
against the backdrop of 
"The Big Mistake." Not 
Microsoft's leaving 
Attorney General Janet 
Reno off its Christmas- 
card list, the other "Big 
Mistake." You know — dead oceans, 
poison air, nuclear winter, dueling 
arniies bent on planetary fascism. 
Not to mention Borg-like aliens 
sucking the geothermal power from 
the Earth's core without so much as 
a "By your leave." That mistake. 

Welcome 
to the Wasteland 

Though traveling an overly 
familiar road, URBAN ASSAULT tries 

computer' 1 

WQRL.D I 




APPEAL- Post- 
apocalypse combat 
gamefs looking for 
yet another act in 
the carnival of 
carnage. 

PROS: Nonstop 
action without the 
wait for construc- 
tion; ruthless 
opponent Al. 

CONS: No choices among the dueling 
factions; learning interface requires 
patience; notliing new here. 
DIFFICULTY: Advanced. 

SYSTEM REQUIREIVIENTS: Pentium 
133, Windows 95/98, 16MB RAM, 

1 00MB hard-drive space, 4x CD-ROM 
drive, SVGA video card with 1 MB of 
VRAM, sound card, 28.8Kbps modem for 
modem/inlemet play; supports joystick 
and Directinput force feedback. 

3D SUPPORT: Direct3D. 

MULTIPLAYER SUPPORT: Modem (2 
players); LAN, Internet (2-4 players 
each); 1 CD per player. 

Price; S54.95 
Publisher: Microsoll 


Redmond, V/A 
(800) 426-9400 






to open a lane by carrying more 
Armageddon angst than the X- 
Files/Millennium timeline. Your role 
in this bleak warscape is to defeat 
all the rival factions and make the 
world safe for your side (which, 
incidentally, is the side that ruined 
the Earth in the first place). 

Microsoft ignores both that 
irony and the interesting game 
potential inherent in a cyborg- 
enhanced Omega Man. Instead, 
and true to form, Microsoft goes 
gaga over the technology. In the 
case of URBAN ASSAULT, the tech 
toys revolve around an interface 
that combines a transparent map 
window, a squadron editor, a HUD, 
and a lock-on targeting display all 
spreading themselves over a 
screen of 3D cityscapes and exurbs. 
Mastering all of the on-screen 
information is like learning to drive 
a stick in a '72 Beetle — fun and 
frustrating in turn. 

All the fighting units are drones, 
taking their commands from you in 
the Host Station. Using the 
Squadron Manager window, you 
can quickly arrange different units 
into fighting squads to maximize 
their effectiveness — placing a few 
light tanks and helicopters togeth- 
er, for example, to soften the 
enemy and roll in for the kill. Select 
a squad and send it into a sector 
for battle or control it by clicking 
on the map. You can't, however, 



THE HOST IS TOAST Take out the enemy Host Station and wctory 
soon follows— but don't expect to get the red-carpet treatment 


assign a squad to a hot-key — a 
glaring oversight by Microsoft of a 
very useful game convention. 

Some of the game's most inter- 
esting aspects are revealed in the 
middle of an intense firefight. By 
clicking (or using a keyboard short- 
cut), you can insert yourself into 
any friendly vehicle on the screen 
and carry the battle to the enemy 
yourself. Human control raises the 
firepower and shielding of the 
occupied vehicle, which can make 
all the difference during battle. 

The 1 5 different fighting vehicles 
aren't simulation quality; they are 
instead designed for action. The 
game doesn't care if you fly a gun- 
ship straight into the ground, as 
long as an enemy doesn't put a 
shell through your armor. You don't 
get to try the game from the enemy 
side, either. Too bad — how many 
chances do you get to play the part 
of a magma-sucking parasite? 

Apocalyptic 

Powermonger 

In addition to fighting, players 
must control the flow of energy 
through the Host Station. Energy 
units are used to create weapons. 
The more sectors you control 
surrounding your Host Station, 
the better the energy flow. More 


energy can be gathered by driving 
a vehicle through the ghostly 
plasma field left behind by 
destroyed vehicles. 

The game's 30-plus scenarios 
cover the usual array of seizing 
ground, discovering hidden power 
and technology boosts, and dis- 
arming ticking bombs. Controlling 
Power Stations is critical, as it gives 
your Host Station more energy 
with which to fight. Tech Centers 
provide improved weaponry. 

The enemy Al is particularly 
ruthless. Seizing control of a sector 
invites constant counterattacks. 
Waves of attackers will continually 
plague your Host Station. Along 
with accomplishing specific mis- 
sion goals, your Host must sun/ive. 
The levels aren't linear, so you have 
some flexibility in creating a path 
through the game. 

Action-strategy fans are 
always looking for new chal- 
lenges, but the most difficult 
challenge URBAN ASSAULT offers 
is mastering its interface. The 
game boils down to a delicate 
balancing act — juggling infor- 
mation, striking opportunities, 
and ruthlessly destroying com- 
peting factions. Come to think of 
it, this game does sound awfully 
familiar. LX'iVJ 


,CO/V1PUTER GAMtNG WORLD « DECE/WBER 1998 


M.computcrgaming.t 








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DEATHTRAP DUNGEON • REVIEW 


Welcome to the Dungeon 

Leather G-strings and Exploding Pigs Aren't Quite Enough for Greatness 


by Kenneth Johnson 

O utside the lonely village 
of Fang, the sinister 
Dungeon awaits. Within 
its labyrinthine depths 
are hordes of wicked 
creatures, fiendish 
traps, and, for the brave 
soul who ultimately 
conquers it, glory. No one who has 
entered has ever returned. Now it's 
your turn to run this gauntlet of 
death in DEATHTRAP DUNGEON, 
Eidos' new addition to the third 
person action/adventure genre. 

Lara Croft in 
a Chain Mail Skirt 

DEATHTRAP DUNGEON is very 
similar to TOMB RAIDER, in that you 
control either a male or female 
adventurer from a third-person 

COMPtiTER' 1 

GAMII^ 


^ ^ ^ 


APPEAL: Third- 
pG5on aficionados 
who crave hack- 
ing, slashing, and 
spellcasting. 

PROS: Good con- 
cept; attractive 
graphics; good 
control; unique 
and humorous 
design, 

CONS: Game can be very difficult at 
times; some clipping and polygon-tear- 
ing problems; game-save allowed only at 
designated points. 

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Advanced, 
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: Pentium 
90, Windows 95, 16MB RAM, 182MB 
hard-drive space, 4x CD-ROM drive, 
DirectXB-compatible graphics and sound, 
mouse, joysticks supported. 

30 SUPPORT: DirectSD, 3DFX Glide 
MULTIPLAYER SUPPORT: LAN (2-8 
players); 1 CD per player. 

Price: $49.99 

Publisher: Eidos Itiieraciive 
San Francisco, CA 
(415) 547-1200 


www.eidoslnteractive.c 





perspective. Your character's abili- 
ties include jumping, running, 
climbing, attacking, and casting 
spells. Though focused on combat, 
the game has very strong puzzle 
solving elements interspersed with 
deadly, insidiously disguised traps. 
There's some platform jumping, but 
responsive controls actually aid 
instead of hinder the execution of 
these daredevil leaps. 

Puzzle-solving consists mostly of 
finding and throwing switches to 
open doors, beyond which you find 
keys for even more doors. Find the 
keys and survive the onslaught of 
creatures and eventually you’ll find 
your way to the exit. It's standard 
fare, but solid design and a wild 
sense of humor keep the game 
from becoming humdrum. 

You'll find more than a dozen 
weapons scattered throughout the 
levels, ranging from swords and 
hammers to muskets and, my per- 
sonal favorite, the all-consuming 
flamethrower. In addition to 
charring everything in its path, the 
flamethrower looks stunningly real 
and shows off the game's excel- 
lent dynamic lighting and top- 
notch 3D rendering. Your charac- 
ter's spellcasting repertoire 
includes such things as fireballs 


and the shrapnel-blasting razor 
spell, but the coolest spell in the 
game is, undoubtedly, the War Pig. 
Casting War Pig summons a snort- 
ing porker with a barrel of gun- 
powder strapped to its back. As 
the fuse burns, the Pig rushes the 
nearest creature and detonates — 
it's effective and hilarious. 

Levels are enormous, so being 
lost is not uncommon. Luckily, you 
have a piece of chalk for marking 
arrows on the floor to track your 
path. This is especially useful when 
trying to escape the cavernous and 
twisted halls of some levels. The 
graphics are also really gorgeous, 
with some of the coolest textures 
to be found anywhere. In the mino- 
taur's labyrinth, for example, you'll 
happen upon 
colorful frescoes 
and crumbling 
columns. 

Unfortunately, 
there are some 
clipping prob- 
lems, and visible 
seams can fre- 
quently be seen 
on your charac- 
ter’s joints. 

Games are 
saved only at 


predetermined points in the levels. 
This can lead to situations in which 
you have to repeat a sequence 
multiple times if you die before you 
reach the next save point. 
Fortunately the save points are at 
logical locations and appear rela- 
tively frequently. Also, reloading a 
saved game does not take much 
time, which is very good since you 
tend to die quite a lot. 

Die Laughing 

DEATHTRAP DUNGEON's most 
redeeming feature is its dark, 
whimsical sense of humor. This is 
apparent from the opening FMV 
cut-scene, but it can really be seen 
in the design of the creatures that 
populate the world. The imps are 
twisted Santa's elves who gibber 
and caper dementedly — on one 
level I encountered two of them, 
balanced on a seesaw, laughing 
and tossing knives. Other creatures 
you'll meet include mad jesters, 
snake-girls, bizarre flamethrowing 
barrels with legs, and others. 

I really enjoyed this game. When 
[ first encountered it on the Sony 
PlayStation, poor control and sub- 
par graphics kept me from getting 
into it. I’m happy to say that these 
problems do not exist with the PC 
version, which plays well. However, 
some graphic glitches and the con- 
sole save system will get in the 
way of many computer gamers' 
enjoyment. 


PATHFINDER Sure the textures in the minotaur's labyrinth are 
beautiful, but it's still easy to get lost Fortunately, you can 
draw chalk arrows to keep track of where you've gone. 


v.compulerRiiming.c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998^ 






REVIEW • STRATOSPHERE: CONQUEST OF THE SKIES 


Between a Rock and a High Place 

stratosphere's High-flying Combat Is Unique but Lacks Depth 


by Mark Clarkson 

TRATOSPHERE is a novel 
new game of uncertain 
genre. Part real-time 
strategy game, part 
thirH-ppr'ion shooter. 
«;TRaTn<;pHFRE offers a 
imiaiie bland of base- 
biiilfling, pilr>ting, 
resource gathering, and combat. 

In the game, you might find 
yourself careening down a narrow 
canyon at top speed, barely ahead 
of a pack of Hurricane-class forts. 
Steering by radar, you work desper- 
ately to rebuild some weapons 
before you're cornered. You glance 
behind you just as one of the 
Hurricanes fires her forward Doom 
Cannon. Since you've got no room 
to dodge, a huge explosion blasts 
the back of your war island apart, 

COMPL/TER' 1 

gamimgI 

WORLD I 




APPEAL: Anyone 
who likes head-to- 
head combat 
between huge fly- 
ing castles. 

PROS; A truly 
novel approach to 
real-time, head-to- 
head gaming; 
customized building of fortresses. 
CONS: Not much depth; strategy and 
action elements are divorced from each 
other; you can't design mission-specific 
units until late in game. 

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Intermediate. 
REQUIREMENTS: Pentium 133, 
Windows 95, 32MB RAM, 190MB hard- 
drive space, 4x CD-ROM, 2MB VRAM 
video card, sound card. 

30 SUPPORT: 3Dfx, Rendition 
VI 000/V2x00, ATI Rage Pro, Direct 3D. 
MULTIPLAYER SUPPORT: Modem, 
serial cable (2 players), LAN. Internet 
(2-4 players); 1 CD for 4 players. 

Price: S49.95 
Publisher: Ripcord Games 
Santa Clara. CA 
(8S8) 797-5367 


www.ripcordgames.c 





devastating your thrusters. Losing 
speed rapidly, you heave your gar- 
gantuan fortress into a turn, hop- 
ing to bring freshly constructed 
weapons to bear before the Hurri- 
cane's spikes rip into your flank. 

Sound like fun? 

Cloud Giants 

In STRATOSPHERE, you command 
a flying fortress built on huge slabs 
of fortified rock floating a mile 
above the ground. Resources, in 
the form of rock, floatstone (which 
gives your fort its lift), and crystal, 
are scattered about the different 
levels to various degrees. To gather 
resources, simply cruise up next to 


the outcropping and the rock 
crumbles, raining on your fortress. 
You can also steal rock blasted off 
opponents' ships. 

You equip your fortress with a 
wide variety of structures that pro- 
vide power and maneuverability as 
well as weapons, defensive walls, 
and shields. Your designs are con- 
strained by your current technolog- 
ical level (windmills before fusion 
plants), the maximum size a 
fortress of a given class can obtain, 
and the resources that are avail- 
able to you. 

Who Needs a Moat 
When You've Got Lasers? 

Your fortress can be 
packed with weapons 
such as catapults, can- 
nons, mines, lasers, and 
rock-eating augers. All 
your weapons may be 
fired simultaneously, 
individually, or you can 
group them together in 
strategic combinations. 
Some weapons stab out 
with laserlike beams, 
others fire like guns, 
while others lob their 
payloads up and over in 
high swooping arcs. 


A fortress doesn't necessarily 
need weapons to be deadly. Pack 
your fortress with a mass of pow- 
erful engines and a load of spikes 
up front, then ram or grind an 
enemy to dust against a mountain- 
side without firing a shot. What- 
ever course you take, you'll need to 
use the game's different camera 
view to aim effectively — a low 
angle for the cannon, a top-down 
view for the high lobs. With enemy 
forts coming in from the front, left, 
right, back, or all four sides, it takes 
real keyboard virtuosity to keep 
most of the fight in view. 

Luckily, STRATOSPHERE helps you 
out with an extensive automatic 
targeting system. Weapons can be 
instructed to automatically target 
enemy forts that come within their 
firing range. Moreover, they can be 
set to target specific fixtures on 
that fort. 

You can choose from 12 single- 
player missions, from escort duty to 
bombing raids, or you can embark 
on a 24-mission career. Only in later 
missions do you have the much- 
needed opportunity to design a 
custom fortress for each mission. 

There are eight multiplayer mis- 
sions that support up to four play- 
ers, only one of whom needs to 
have the CD. Internet play via 
TCP/IP was especially "warpy" for 
me, so STRATOSPHERE might be best 
played on a LAN. Unfortunately, 
multiplayer mission selection isn't 
terribly diverse; most missions are 
various deathmatches, with a few 
defensive, escort, and ground-strike 
missions thrown in. There is noAl 
to allow for two-player team play. 

STRATOSPHERE doesn't offer 
deep gameplay;The strategy com- 
ponent of this pseudo-RTS game is 
largely limited to fortress design. 
Once you've done that, it's pretty 
much a shooter, albeit a shooter 
featuring giant, gun-laden chunks 
of rock. Still, this fresh real-time 
game is a blast. T<dl7 




1 '' 

BUILDI 
STRATO 
you cu 
with a 
and po 

VGA WAR MACHINE 
sphere's fortress builder lets 
iomize your floating castle 
variety of weapons, defenses, 
wer sources. 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


vvv.computergaming.c 














F ^ } 




PC Game Magazfnel^^^^r 




A AilCRRIf COMPANY 


01998 Sierra Or-line.lrc.™ and/or’*' designate trademarks of, or licensed to Sierra On-Une.lnc., Bellevue, WA 98007, All tights reserved. 


RED BARON 3 -D returns you to the era when man and 
machine first took to the skies in up-closc and personal battles of ski 
and tactics. From raging dogfights higir above the clouds to dead!' 
strafing runs along the war-torn countryside, you'll take to the cod 
of an aircraft made of wood, canvas, aird wire. There are no parachul 
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Bullets riddleyour plane shattering wood 
and canvas. Deafening anti-aircraft gunlire 
thunders inyour ears and fills tlie skies 
with smoke and destruction. Distant sirens 
and church bells ring out through the air. 
warning ofyour approach above enemy 
townships. Enemy aircraft search tlie sky 
for any hint of your existence. 


But, this isyour time and place to become 
a hero. You cannot deny your chivalrous 
nature. You are the Ace tliatyour county 
pins its hopes upon to defeat the darkest 
of all enemies, the deadly 



REVIEWS 


Haven't I Seen You Before? 

Familiar Faces Surface in These Action Titles 



Gex; Enter the Gecko 

★ ★ ★ ii 

Publisher: Midway Home Entertainment 
Price; S29.99 
www.midway.com 


T he original GEX held the dis- 
tinction of being the world's 
first 32-bit home video game. 
This sequel, which requires 3Dfx- 
compatible video acceleration, 
delivers a highly detailed, free- 
roaming, 360-degree gameworld, 
colorful enemies, and eye-popping 
special effects. Comedian Dana 
Gould reprises his role as the voice 
of Gex, spouting a huge repertoire 
of witticisms and hip putdowns. 

Once again. Gex battles his arch 
nemesis, Rez, in a series of media- 
related fantasy worlds, such as the 


Rocket Channel, Toon TV, GilliGex 
Island, and Kung-Fu Theater. 

Stylistically, this game owes 
much to MARIO 64 and its assorted 
clones. The crucial differences, 
however, are intelligence, humor, 
and attitude. Although the visual 
and verbal gags in GEX 
can be enjoyed by gamers 
of all ages, many of the 
game's jokes are aimed at 
a slightly older, more 
sophisticated audience. 

In addition to Gex's 
trademark tail-whip and 
razor-sharp tongue, play- 
ers can use his suction 
pads to climb walls and to 
walk on ceilings. This abil- 
ity to stick to virtually any surface 
propels the game into uncharted 
3D territory — in terms of freedom 
of movement, puzzle challenges, 
and player strategies. A player- 
controlled, in-game camera lets 
you choose which viewing perspec- 
tive is best for any given situation. 

Fast and fun, with 1 25 unique 
character moves, 3,400 frames of 
animation, and massive level 
designs GEX: ENTER THE GECKO is a 
visual knockout. If you're hungry for 
3D console action on the PC, this 
lizard can deliver. — Scoff A May 


Revenge of Arcade 
Golden Edition 

★ Ail 

Publisher; Microsoft 
Price: S24.95 
WWW, microsoft.com 

F or those of us who spent far 
too much of our childhood 
trying to see how much 
mileage we could get out 
of a single quarter, the 
repackaging of legendary 
arcade games can't help 
but elicit a smile. Still, if 
nostalgia were everything, 
we'd be playing WOLFEN- 
STEIN3D instead of QUAKE. 

So the games themselves 
need to offer something 
you can't always find in 
today's 3D-accelerated, 
memory-hogging monsters: 
sense of style. 

The problem is that Microsoft's 
REVENGE OF ARCADE GOLDEN 
EDITION offers little in the way of 
either style or substance. You won't 
find GALAXIA or ASTEROIDS here or 
even cult hits like BURGER TIME. 
What you get are games like 
XEVIOUS, a sci-fl flier in which you 


dodge swooping enemies but can't 
shoot back. For a change of pace, 
you can play MAPPY, a ho-hum 
side-scroller, or you can bounce 
space bugs around in MOTOS. While 
1 will admit to having a bit of guilty 
fun zipping around in X RACER, 
these harmless games are more 
likely to appeal to the Senator 
Lieberman crowd than they are to 
rip most of us away from G-POUCE 
or SCOURGE OF ARMAGON. 


The big exception is MS. PAC 
MAN, which still brings me as 
close to a state of Zen as I've 
ever achieved in gaming. Even so, 
the lure of a single true arcade 
classic is no reason to recommend 
lining Bill Gates' pockets when 
you can find the same games (or 
inspired takeoffs) via the Internet 
for Uee.— Terry Coleman 




COMPUTER GAMtNG WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


/.compulcrgaming.c 





Wnen the Martian war machine lands on the green and pleasant land el 19th century Britain, strategy Is 
all you've got. And In this revolutionary non-linear war, you'll need it. Deploy your lorces anywhere on the 
map el Britain. Chouse your missions. Pick your hattles. Because you can lose a battle and still win the 
War. Maybe. Dozens ol 3D rendered units stand between you and Martian domination. 

[Dr enperlence strategy Irom the other side and play as the MartlansI] 


Based cjn the classic hovel by H.G. Wells and featuring a fully-remixed score 
licensed and composed by best-selling artist Jeff Wayne 

Available soon at your local retailer 

Order direci at store.gtlnl^live.com or call 1 -800-61 0-GTIS 

®NE£0»HHin uf ^ 

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'The War of the Workls* 0 1998 Rage SofMam Limited. All Rights Reserved. Published and DtsIribuled by GT Interactive Sottware Corp. GT is a trademark and tlio GT 
Logo is a re^slered trademark of GT Interactive SoTtwara Carp. The Story. senpL artwork and logo from Jell Wayne's Musical Version ol 'lire War of the Witkls'OOBio 
Record Producllens. The tnuscal score from Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of -me War of the Worlds' e 1978 JoK Wayne Music iPubUshlnti Ltd Miaosoft « and Wndows 
9 arc registered badmaiks of UerDsott Corporaiion. All other Trademarks ate the piopcrty of dicir lespccllve companies. 

Go to #162 @ www.computergaming.com/infolink 




REVIEW • INDEPENDENCE WAR 


Hard-core Space War 

Real Physics and a Solid Story Push This Space Sim to Warp Speed 



by Greg Fortune 

I f you're piloting a high-tech 
starship, how come you have 
to make wide, banking turns 
to fire on a following ship? 
Why is a spaceship that can 
travel between star systems 
equipped with unguided 
missiles? And why the heck 
does a spaceship come to an 
immediate stop in a gravity-free 
vacuum when you kill its thrust? If 
these questions have nagged at 
you while flying previous genera- 
tions of space sims, beam aboard 
INDEPENDENCE WAR. 

Developed by Particle Systems, 
INDEPENDENCE WAR is an updated 
U.S. version of the space sim 
released in Europe earlier this year 
as i-WAR. New to the American 
release is support for 3Dfx Voodoo 
and Voodoo^ cards, as well as an 
arcade mode for those gamers 
more comfortable with WING 
COMMANDER-style combat. 



^ i" ,'WHCE' 


CACHE AND ATTACH MINES TO AS 
MANY CARGO PODS AS POSSIBLE. 


DRAW ME A PICTURE Your mission briefing typically includes graphical walk-throughs of your 
main objectives; these are available during the mission at the command console. 


COMPUTER 

GAMIMGI 


eWorld 





CONS: No multiplayer support. 
DIFFICULTY; Intermediate. 

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: Pentium 90 
(P166fDr3Dfx mode), Windows 95/98, 
16MB RAM, 80MB hard-drive space, 'lx 
CD-ROM. 

3D SUPPORT: 3Dtx, 

MULTIPLAYER SUPPORT; None. 

Price: $49.95 
Publisher: trifogrames 
San Jose, CA 
(877)INFDGRAMES 


Degrees of Freedom 

The most striking aspect of 
INDEPENDENCE WAR is its physics 
modeling. While it would be 
absurd to call a starship flight 
model "realistic," the ship handling 
here at least acknowledges the 
basics of Newton's laws. 

Piloting your ship is a blast. 

Once you get the hang of manag- 
ing the inertia and using free- 
thruster mode, you'll wish every 


space game had this physics 
model. Take this scenario as an 
example: You are being chased by 
an enemy who has damaged your 
weapons and is pounding away at 
your rear shield — which, of course, 
is by far the weakest shield on your 



ship. In most space sims, it's cur- 
tains for you. 

Here you can jump to the engi- 
neering console and direct Repair 
Team Four, which was busy trying 
to repair Power Grid Two, to get 
your starboard Particle Beam 



SLIP-SLiDIN' AWAY 'Diis is free-thruster mode. It may not 
look like the ship is chasing the target, but the red visual 
movement indicators show otherwise. 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEAABER 1998 


/.computergaininR.< 









Cannon back online. You then jump 
to your weapons console, place the 
PBC in rapid-fire mode, and at the 
same time activate free-thruster 
mode. When you pull the stick 
back, your ship continues its origi- 
nal trajectory but rotates 1 80 
degrees to face the ship behind 
you. You are now flying backward 
at high speed, taking hits to your 
strongest shield. You've also kept 
all of your momentum, and you've 
got your PBC blazing away at your 
enemy's navigational thrusters, 
hampering his ability to pursue 
you, Finally, a space sim that truly 
lets you take advantage of the 
capabilities of a spaceship, rather 
than saddling you with something 
that flies like an F-22. 

Command and Control 

The ship's bridge has four com- 
mand stations, each of which is 
critical to your success at various 
points in a mission. The command 
station gives you the ability to view 
the rotating 3D star chart, initiate 
remote control over other ships, 
and review your mission briefing 
and objectives. The pilot's station 
supplies most of the information 
about waypoints and distances. 

The weapons station provides 
both fixed and padlock views and 
allows you to select your firing and 
targeting modes. The padlock view 
gives you access to both forward- 
and rear-facing weapons, enabling 
you to fire on multiple targets from 
almost any angle. Finally, the engi- 
neering station lets you prioritize 
the repair of critical systems as 
they become damaged in combat. 

To play INDEPENDENCE WAR, 
you'll want to have either a set of 
rudder pedals or a joystick with a 
Z-axis twist, because the game 
gives you full control of the ship's 
pitch, yaw, and roll axes. A good 
programmable throttle will also 
add to your enjoyment, but the 
game is entirely playable via key- 
board and joystick. 

From Here to Infinity 

There are two modes to 
INDEPENDENCE WAR: Simulation 
and Arcade, the latter added for 
the U.S. market. The game's Arcade 


INDEPENDENCE WAR • REVIEW 

hardware acceleration for 3Dfx 
Voodoo {640x480 resolution) and 
Voodoo^ (800x600) cards. On these 
cards, you'll see more dramatic spe- 
cial effects as well as more 
detailed, texture-mapped ships. If 
you don't have a 3Dfx card, 
though, you're still likely to be 
impressed by the software engine. 

The game starts with a high- 
quality animated movie that runs 
nearly 15 minutes. But that's the 
end of the interface f!ash-and- 
dazzle. While the interface you 
use to select missions is intuitive 
and functional, it's positively 
minimalist — it's practically anti- 
rendered. After all the shock-to- 
the-brain interfaces that have 
come out lately, it's nice to see a 
company put all of Its effort into 
the game itself. 

Installation is extremely straight- 
forward, and Infogrames has also 
included plenty of documentation 
with INDEPENDENCE WAR. 

Spaced Out 

Despite its lack of a multiplayer 
mode, this is a game you should 


There are two types of missions: 
campaign and instant action. The 
instant-action mode is called 
Infinity War because that's how 
long the battle will go on if you 
manage to keep from getting 
blown into tiny pieces. As you'd 
expect, you'll face wave after wave 
of enemy ships, but as an original 
touch, friendly units periodically 
appear to lend their efforts as 
wingmen. Supply ships also hap- 
pen along, enabling you to restock 
your missile and ECM stores. 

The campaign is extremely well 
done. There are numerous mission 
types, including spy missions, surgi- 
cal strikes, fleet warfare, and 
pitched one-on-one battles. Often 
your mission orders change mid- 
stream and you are taken in unex- 
pected directions. You'll be asked 
to make choices that dictate the 
direction of the future missions. If 
you decide to see what happens 
down a different branch of the 
campaign, you do not have to 
replay the entire campaign. You 



there were a multiplayer mode, but 
alas that's the biggest omission in 
this otherwise stellar product. 

It's All About Gameplay 

Tlie European l-WAR release fea- 
tured a software graphics engine 
with real-time lighting and 
extremely fast updates. The biggest 
enhancement to the U.S. version is 




seriously consider picking up if you 
like space sims. You've never flown 
anything like it. From the branching 
missions to the radical physics 
model, it delivers a new space-sim 
experience. Once you've experi- 
enced INDEPENDENCE WAR, you 
may find there's no going back to 
arcade-style space sims. 


mode is most similar to the stan- 
dard mode of other space sims. 
Here the sideslip from your forward 
inertia is canceled when you turn, 
and there are several other areas 
in which the flight model has been 
dumbed down. Your weapons are 
more powerful, though you lose 
some targeting options. Simulation 
is the standard mode, with all 
options and physics turned on. 


can replay a mission to try for a 
different outcome, but you'll lose 
the timeline you developed the first 
time you played through. 

At press time. Particle Systems 
announced that It would be releas- 
ing a free modification utility and 
script programming reference doc- 
ument to allow users to create 
their own missions and campaigns. 
Play would also be extended if 





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COMPUTER GAMING WORLD ■ DECEMBER 1998, 






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F22 TOTAL AIR WAR • REVIEW 


Dynamic Performer 

The Last F-22 Sim You'll Ever Need 



by Tom "KC" Basham 

I t's the rarest of endangered 
species with only a handful 
of examples in captivity and 
none known to be in the 
wild. Like a unicorn and 
almost as rare, it's been 
sought for years by hunters 
and treasure-seekers, who 
more often return with a wild 
"There I was" tale than with con- 
crete evidence of its existence. The 
creature in question is. of course, 
the dynamic campaign, a mode of 
play for a flight sim (or any game, 
for that matter) that generates 
each of the opponent’s moves on 
the fly throughout the entire war. 

Whereas the more common 
scripted-mission system provides a 
set of canned missions that play 
out nearly the same way every 
time, dynamic campaigns promise 


COMPUTER 

GAMIMG 


^ ^ 


APPEAL Fans of 
high-tech jets 
interested in man- 
aging a realistic 
battle campaign. 

PROS: Realistic 
dynamic cam- 
paign; convindng 
flight modeling; 
powerful flight 
recorder; good player involvement in 
campaign success; AWACS mode. 

CONS: Flight engine features only minor 
enhancements from previous title; 
dynamic campaign is single-player only. 
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate, 
REQUIREMENTS; Pentium t33. 
Windows 95/98. 32MB RAM, 70MB 
hard-drive space, SVGA graphics. 

3D SUPPORT: 3Dfx, DIrect3D. 
MULTIPUYER SUPPORT: Modem, 
direct connect, IPX, TCP/IP (2-8 players); 

1 CO per player. 

Price: S<t9.95 
Publisher: DID/Inlogrames 
San Jose, CA 
(408) 289-1200 





that each mission will be different 
based on the circumstances of the 
previous missions. The sim equiva- 
lent of the unicorn, the dynamic 
campaign offers not a magic horn 
but the pledge of unlimited 
reptayability. DID is one of the few 
companies truly pursuing the 
dream of the dynamic campaign, 
and its latest offering — F22 TOTAL 
Air War — fully embraces the con- 
cept with a quite admirable effort. 

Depending on whom you talk 
to, F22 TOTAL AIR WAR is an add-on 
pack for DlD's F22 AIR DOMINANCE 
FIGHTER, a complete sequel to F22 
ADF, or a totally new product. For 
all practical purposes, it is an 
enhanced version of F22 ADF, 
implementing a dynamic campaign 
engine with 10 new scenarios. 

War Zone 

F22 TAW’s campaign engine fea- 
tures scenarios located along the 
shores of the Red Sea. "Politically 
correct" gamers should receive a 
double helping of joy. First, the 
scenarios feature underutilized (in 
flight sims) countries such as 
Ethiopia, Eritrea. Somalia, China, 
France, Yemen, Djibouti, and Saudi 
Arabia along with the United 


States, Great Britain, and Russia. 
Also, almost every country — even 
France — finds itself both an ally 
and enemy of the U.S. in various 
scenarios. Everybody gets to be the 
good guy at one point or another. 

Each campaign has a time limit: 
for example, 72 hours. During the 
campaign, the computer chooses a 
strategy for both sides and begins 
slugging it out. Individual strate- 
gies will usually have a shorter 
limit, perhaps 10 hours, in which to 
show results. The engine may 


choose a different strategy when 
that time expires, depending on 
the progress of the war. 

The war proceeds, generating 
and executing missions for both 
sides. The engine presents players 
with a list of F-22 missions, letting 
you join battles at will. Players can 
measure the progress of the war in 
the War Room. The menu options 
display, among other things, the 
sorties flown by both sides and the 
damage inflicted. The map view 
lets you view the progress of spe- 
cific battles as the war unfolds. 
When you decide to fly a combat 
sortie, you can accept the default 
flight plan and weapons loadout, 
or you can use the mission editor 
to configure items according to 
your tastes and tactics. 

DlD's original WarGen campaign 
engine battled merrily along its 
way with little regard to the play- 
ers' personal success rate. This 
drew complaints from gamers, and 
DID promptly altered its course. 

F22 taw's enhanced dynamic 
campaign was developed with the 
assistance of Col. John Warden, 
one of the planners of the Desert 
Storm air campaign. This system 
seems to reflect the success and 
failure of the individual player in 



FAMILIAR FACE The sim engine in F22 TOTAL AIR WAR has some 
enhancements, such as 3D cioud layers, but overall it's little 
changed from F22 ADF. 


WWW computerpaming.c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


ATT" 




REVIEW • F22 TOTAL AIR WAR 


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REPORT CARD The Event Log keeps you apprised of specific 
battles and actions. After you've flown a mission manually, a 
flight recorder lets you view a detailed replay. 


the overall scheme. When I flew 
missions, the allied forces rallied 
and met their objectives. When the 
war progressed overnight without 
my involvement, allied forces were 
stymied and held in check. 

Dynamic campaign generators 
tend to push computers to their 
limits. It's extremely frustrating to 
be winning the war on the final 
day of hostilities only to have the 
engine crash the game. Happily, 

F22 taw's campaign engine never 
exhibited any fatal crashes, even 
when 1 left the game running con- 
tinuously for many hours. 

My Father's Eyes 

As in F22 ADF, you can choose 
to fly an E-3 AWACS sortie rather 
than an F-22 sortie. The interface is 
reasonably simple: The screen dis- 
plays a variable-scale map of the 


war zone along with buttons to fil- 
ter out various types of targets, 
such as air bases, ground units, 
and so on. The map, using either 
standard NATO symbols or stylized 
icons, shows the position of all 
items within the E-3's impressive 
radar reach. Other information, 
particularly ground-unit informa- 
tion from JSTARS aircraft, is also 
data-linked in. The result is a fairly 
thorough picture of the area, 
depending on how close the 
AWACS and JSTARS operate to the 
FEBA (Forward Edge of the Battle 
Area). Operating deep in friendly 
territory keeps the asset safer but 
limits the radar coverage of small, 
low-altitude targets. Moving for- 
ward improves the coverage but 
increases the risk to your hull. 

As you watch the drama unfold, 
you direct friendly forces toward 
targets by clicking on 
the desired aircraft 
and dragging a new 
waypoint to the 
desired location. 
Depending on the air- 
craft's mission and 
what objects lie at the 
waypoint, the aircraft 
assumes new orders. 
For example, dragging 
a new marker for a 
Combat Air Patrol 
(CAP) flight simply 
moves that CAP flight 
to a new position on 
the map. Dragging the 



MIDDLE EAST MAYHEM in F22 TAW. the 
various campaigns let you fly for a num- 
ber of countries. Sometimes you'll start 
with an advantage, and sometimes 
you'll have to come from behind. 



Airborne Warning and Controi System 


A lthough it carries no weapons and never dogfights 
with an enemy fighter, the E-3 AWACS (basically a 
Boeing 707 loaded with electronics) is possibly the 
most powerful aircraft of all. Capable of staying aloft for 
more than 11 hours, the AWACS uses its powerful radar to 
monitor all airborne activity over a huge area. During the 
Cold War, the USAF claimed that just three AWACS could 
monitor the entire East/West border across all of Europe. 
The plane's radar output power is reportedly high enough 
to cause system failures and malfunctions in aircraft that 
stray too close while the radar Is emitting. The inclusion of 
an AWACS console in F22TAW gives you unprecedented 
control over the tactical situation, in a realistic manner. 


.AWACS 


cursor to an enemy air group, how- 
ever, issues an "Intercept" com- 
mand against that group. 

Aircraft on strike missions won't 
redeploy like a CAP aircraft will. 
Instead, you must drag the marker 
to a new target. The aircraft then 
changes course and proceeds to 
strike the new target. Once 
engaged in a dogfight, however, 
the aircraft all but ignores player 
input until the fight is resolved. You 
can direct your E-3 just like any 
other aircraft, choosing how close 
to the front you want to operate. 
You can also jump from the 
AWACS screen Into any in-flight F- 
22 if you want to join the action. 

The Value of a Dollar 

As a flight simulator, F22 TAW 
will appear extremely familiar to 
F22 ADF players. Overall, the flight 
model is a reasonable effort, 
although it seems a little overpow- 
ered. It's a little difficult to slow the 
aircraft if the nose is pitched down 


slightly — especially during land- 
ing — even with the gear down, the 
speedbrake extended, and the 
throttle at idle. As with F22 ADF, 

F22 TAW features a thorough 
avionics and weapons suite, includ- 
ing highly detailed (for a flight sim) 
radio communications. F22 TAW, 
like its predecessor, features the 
most realistic aerial refueling mod- 
eling currently available on the PC. 

F22 TAW is an impressive prod- 
uct that's extremely stable (no 
fatal crashes were encountered) 
and which features single-mission 
multiplayer support. If you missed 
F22 ADF, you should have no 
qualms about purchasing F22 
TAW as a full retail product. 

After complaints from F22 ADF 
users on the Internet, publisher 
Infogrames announced that exist- 
ing F22 ADF owners would be able 
to upgrade to F22 TAW at a lower 
cost. For more Information on the 
pricing issue, check DlD's Web site 
at www.did.cotn. 


.COMPUTER GAMING WORLD « DECEMBER 1998 


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REVIEW • IF/A-18E CARRIER STRIKE FIGHTER 


Half-Baked Hornet 


Bugs Shoot Down This Potentially Interesting F/A- 18 Sim 


by Robin G. Kim 

A fter enduring stinging 
criticisms of their debut 
release, lF-22, the in- 
house developers at 
Interactive Magic felt 
they needed to follow 
up with a real winner. 
Their formula called for 
rectifying that sim's deficiencies 
while porting its strengths to a 
new title based on the U.S. Navy's 
hot new Super Hornet. If all went 
well, IF/A-18E CARRIER STRIKE 
FIGHTER (CSF) was to be Interactive 
Magic’s redemption in the eyes of 
flight-sim fans. Alas, the best-laid 
plans of developers and testers 
often go astray: The sim has 
shipped with a boatload of bugs. 
This is not to say that CSF is com- 
pletely without merit. It actually 
displays potential in several key 


computer' 1 

GAMII\IG 




APPEAL; Serious 
sIm fans willing to 
wade through 
inevitable patches 
to play a good 
campaign. 

PROS: Dynamic 
campaign; realistic 
flight model; 
detailed avionics; 
great frame-rate even without a 3D card. 
CONS: Frequent program crashes; too 
many minor bugs to list here; touchy joy- 
stick response: very poor missile model- 
ing; limited multiplayer support. 
DIFFICULTY; Hard. 

REQUIREMENTS; Pentium 166, 
Windows 95. 24MB RAM, 133MB hard- 
drive space, 8x CD-ROM. 

3D SUPPORT: Direct3D. 

MULTIPLAYER SUPPORT: Modem, 
direct connect, IPX, TCP/IP (Internet) (2-8 
players); 1 CD per player. 

Price: SW.gS 

Publisher: Interactive Magic 
Research Triangle Park, NC 
(919) a61-0722 





areas, most notable of which is its 
dynamic campaign engine. 

Pick Your Poison 

The game's two campaign sce- 
narios pit U.S. forces against an 
invading aggressor: in one, the 
Turks in the Aegean theater; in the 
other, the combined armies of Iran 
and Iraq in the Persian Gulf. Your 
initial goal in each is to help pave 
the way for a Marine amphibious 
invasion. Once the troops are 
ashore, the war continues until one 
side has gained control of a pre- 
ponderance of victory locations. 

Before each flight, CSF gener- 
ates a set of missions (from among 
1 5 different types) for the Super 
Hornets in your squadron, based 
on whether the invasion has taken 
place and what assets remain on 
each side. Reinforcements are also 
calculated, though a bug prevents 
your squadron from ever receiving 
the replacement aircraft it is due. 
After selecting the flight you wish 
to lead, you may use the mission 
planner to edit the default way- 
points and each plane's loadout 
and fuel level (advisable, since fuel 
is sometimes set dangerously low). 
Once the mission is completed, 
losses are tallied up and the cycle 


begins again. That is, if the pro- 
gram doesn't crash partway 
through, as occasionally occurs, 
forcing you to restart. 

Apart from the campaigns, there 
are some simple training flights, a 
quick-mission creator, randomly 
generated single missions, an 
instant-action mode, and multi- 
player deathmatches. Support for 
cooperative single missions may be 
added in a patch; in the meantime, 
multiplayer fans can try WARBIRDS, 
which is included on the same CD. 


Graphically, CSF is similar to IF- 
22, yet with several welcome 
improvements. Gone are the 
annoying pauses for loading ter- 
rain that plagued the older sim. 
Smoke trails are also improved. 

And while the haze-shrouded, 
satellite image-based terrain still 
looks good only from higher up, 
the sim boasts impressive frame- 
rates (with or without a 3D card) 
at resolutions from 640x480 to 
1024x768. View options include a 
set of fixed views, 45 degrees 
apart, and basic manual-panning 
and autotracking padlock views. 
The game's graphics cannot be 
called pretty, but they are func- 
tional despite some minor glitches. 
Complementing the visuals is a 
suite of realistic sound effects, 
including "Bitching Betty" warning 
messages that were recorded from 
an actual F/A-18. 

Enough Rope 
to Hang Yourself 

CSF definitely holds its own in 
the flight-model department. The 
sim combines realistic performance 
with an exceptionally fluid feel. Its 
main drawback is a high joystick 
gain that puts a premium on 



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REVIEW • IF/A-18E CARRIER STRIKE FIGHTER 





INSTRUMENT LOSS Virtual 
cockpit and padlock views 
do not feature a working 
instrument panel, but they're 
still useful for tracking ban* 
dits and incoming missiles. 


finesse. Hornets are known for 
their pitch authority, and that 
comes through here: Manhandle 
the controls and you'll find yourself 
in an accelerated stall or nasty spin 
nearly every time. Those who have 
difficulty staying that far ahead of 
their aircraft can opt for a relaxed 
flight model, but it's simplistic; no 
middle ground is provided, 

Systems modeling is rather com- 
plex, with multiple radar and HUD 
modes, a FUR (forward-looking 
infrared) sensor, TV-guided muni- 
tions, and several autopilot modes. 
You can even get target informa- 
tion data-linked to your scope from 
the carrier's E-3 Hawkeye if it's fly- 
ing. But if you ask it for bogey 


sim's joystick response curve and 
missile modeling were improved. 
However, gamers buy games to 
play them, not to contemplate how 
good they could be with fixes and 
changes. Out of the box, CSF fails 
to measure up. 


(Joint Standoff Weapons) to cluster 
bombs. Weapons modeling is rea- 
sonably accurate except for one 
glaring exception: Missiles are 
much too easy to dodge. Unless a 
missile approaches its target from 
in front or behind, it will miss every 
time, even if the target does not 
maneuver or drop countermea- 
sures. The Al often leaves 
SAM tracking radars off 
until its search radars 
indicate that you 
are within their fir- 
ing envelopes. At 
this point they 
unleash a torrent 
of missiles at you, 
so this glitch also 
benefits your life 
expectancy. Nonetheless, it 
makes for some mighty strange 
and equally 
unsatisfying air- 
to-air combat. 

If you look 
past the many 
bugs, which may 
eventually be 
remedied by 
patches, CSF is a 
decent sim with 
good depth and 
a fine campaign 
engine. Its 
potential would, 
of course, be 
greater if the 


information over 
the radio, it will 
always give a bearing of 
042 in its response — another bug. 
Other problem areas include some 
target designation methods that 
do not work as advertised and 
some short-lived blips in the 
ground-mapping radar mode that 
make selecting a contact resemble 
a game of "Whack-a-Mole." 
Fortunately, cheat keys that allow 
you to cycle through all nearby tar- 
gets provide a usable work-around 
to this glitch. 


Guided Miss-iles 

Your Hornet can carry many 
types of ordnance, from JSOWs 


GOOD OLD RAND MCNALLY The ptanning map 
uses too large a scale to give detailed ter- 
rain-contour information, but it is useful for 
planning a route around enemy SAM concen- 
trations and combat air pa&ols. 


Carrier Operations 

L 


anding a multimillion-dollar jet fighter 
aboard a moving aircraft carrier is 
■ one of the most rigorous tests of fly- 
ing skill that a pilot— real or simulated — 
can face. This sweaty-palmed challenge is 
perhaps the defining characteristic of a 
contemporary naval fighter sim, so it is 
important to legions of sim fans that it be 
done well. 

CSF gets it half right Radio communica- 
tion with the carrier lets you clear your 
approach, and the Landing Signal Officer 
who talks you down to the lOOO-foot-long 
deck is reasonably helpful. Unfortunately, 
apart from tfie ILS needles, most of the 
other aids do not work. The carrier's 
"meatball" (glideslope indicator light) is 


illegible even at 1024x768 resolu- 
tion, and the flight-path marker on 
the HUD exaggerates your angle of 
descent. Though flight performance 
and throttle response in a landing 
configuration seem realistic, unusu- 
ally high joystick sensitivity makes 
it difficult to execute fine pitch cor- 
rections. The ACLS (Automatic 
Carrier Landing System) is not 
much help since it Is highly unreliable. 
Given these difficulties, it's probably for 
the best that the sim lets you get away 
with hard touchdowns. Note, however, that 
due to a bug in the "realistic" flight-model 
option, your aircraft will self-destruct a 
few seconds after you catch a wire unless 



you exit the mission immediately. 

Besides the landings, other aspects of 
carrier operations are glossed over. 
Catapult launches are modeled, but no 
taxiing is involved, and the jet blast deflec- 
tors mentioned in the manual are not even 
visible in the actual game. 


.COMPUTER GAMING WORLD ■ DECEMBER 1 998 


' computergaminR.c 








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REVIEW • lAF 


Defending the Homeland 

Take to the Skies With One of the World's Most Profident and Experienced Air Forces 


by Robin G. Kim 

R epeatedly put to the 

test in some of the most 
intense jet-versus-jet 
combat of the modern 
era, the Israeli Air Force 
has consistently 
emerged victorious — 
usually by a wide mar- 
gin. The Israeli Defense Force's air 
arm is one of the most experienced 
and highly trained air forces in the 
world. lAF, the debut release by 
Israeli developer Pixel Multimedia 
for Jane's Combat Simulations, 
traces the fighting history of the 
Israeli Air Force from the 1967 Six- 
Day War and the 1 973 Yom Kippur 
War through a set of hypothetical 
near-future conflicts. 


COMPUTER 

GAMIMC 


^ WORLD 




APPEAL Sim 
players more inter- 
ested in an active, 
convincing envi- 
ronment tlran in 
highly detailed sys- 
tems simulation. 

PROS: Action- 
packed missions; 
excellent multi- 
player support; great variety of aircraft to 
fly; intuitive terrain graphics; very good 
avionics modeling for a "survey" sim. 
CONS; No dynamic campaign; shimmer- 
ing terrain graphics; low-sp^ control 
twitchiness; simplified flight model; no 
mission recorder. 

DIFFICULTY; Easy. 

REQUIREMENTS: Pentium 200MMX, 
32MB RAM, 251MB hard-drive space 
(plus 100MB for swap file), SVGA video 
card with 4M8 video memory and sup- 
port for16-bit color. 

3D SUPPORT; DirectBD. 

MUmPLAVER SUPPORT: IPX or 
TCP/IP LAN, Internet (2-6 players); 1 CD 
per player. 



Price: 159 

Publisher: Jane's Combat Sims 
San Maieo, CA 
(415) 571-7171 




THE DARK SIDE Though they 
are nonnally your adver- 
saries, the Soviet-made 
MiG-29 Fulaum and MiG-23 
Flogger are flyable in cus- 
tom missions and certain 
muitiplayer modes. 


N/U* OF THE EARTH Despite some low-level muddiness (or pixe- 
lation, if you don't have a 3D card), the terrain textures in lAF 
give you an excellent feel for your altitude above the heavily 
contoured ground. 


The game features six cam- 
paigns, each consisting of seven 
prescripted missions. The battles 
variously pit you against the 
Soviet-equipped forces of Syria, 
Egypt, Jordan, or Iraq (or, as in the 
Six-Day War, all four at once!). For 
the three historical campaigns, mis- 
sions may be flown in any order. In 
the three hypothetical campaigns, 
set in late 1 999, you must win each 
mission to advance to the next. 

Juggling Cockpits 

Campaign scenarios are often 
quite complex, requiring you to 
control up to four flights of two 
aircraft each to accomplish the 
mission objectives. "Control” here 
consists of more than merely issu- 
ing orders over the radio; in lAF 
you physically take control by 
transporting yourself into the cock- 
pit of the flight leader's aircraft. 
(Commanding your wingman is 
still done the old-fashioned way, 
using six basic radio directives.) 

A typical mission objective 
might be to suppress a target 
area's air defenses with a Wild 
Weasel flight, taking out any air 
threats with a TARCAP (target 
combat air patrol) flight, then 
reduce the objective to rubble with 


a bomber flight. As you can imag- 
ine, hopping from plane to plane 
can become hectic. Fortunately, the 
Al is capable enough that you 
don't have to do everything your- 
self Your guidance is needed pri- 
marily for tactical decisions and 
complicated ground-attack proce- 
dures. You can tweak the sim's dif- 
ficulty, but note that the enemy Al 
setting has a bug: "Expert” is actu- 
ally the easiest mode, with 
"Rookie" and "Normal" both 
offering a much greater challenge. 

Mission briefings are thorough, 
detailing exactly what each of your 


flights is supposed to do. Both 
waypoints and weapon loads can 
he customized for all aircraft under 
your control. During play, you can 
access the map (the same one 
used for preflight planning) to 
monitor the tactical situation in 
realtime or to switch control 
between flights. Missions start you 
out either in the air or on the run- 
way and can be ended as soon as 
you achieve the last objective. But 
you can also fly back to base and 
taxi into a hangar, then watch your 
wingman and surviving friendlies 
do the same — a nice touch. 



a COMPUTER CA/VlING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


' computergamins 








sional graphics and true-fo-life 
special forces action. ONE SHOT 
KILLS. The ultimate goal is to save 
yourself and the world from deadly 
terrorists. You must successfully 


you die, the game isn’t over: 

THE WORLD IS. 







REVIEW • lAF 


in addition to the campaigns, 
the game provides 1 1 excellent 
interactive training flights, a simple 
mission builder, and 7 scramble 
missions. The latter are canned 
missions that put you in the cock- 
pit with no briefing; your objectives 
are radioed to you on the fly. 

Eye of the Beholder 

The terrain graphics are perhaps 
the most controversial aspect of 
lAF.They resemble grainy videotape 
footage of actual landscapes, but 
with a shimmering effect {not 
apparent in the screenshots) that 
you will likely find either annoying 


contours has never been so easy in 
a sim — an important consideration 
when you're hugging valley floors 
to avoid enemy radar. 

Frame-rate at 640x480 (the only 
supported resolution) with a good 
3D card will be acceptable for most 
PCs, albeit with substantially coarser 
graphics on slower CPUs. Running 
the sim without 3D acceleration 
should yield adequate performance 
with detail settings minimized. But 
on my PC it also resulted in fre- 
quent long pauses (probably due to 
a compatibility problem), which ren- 
dered the game unplayable until I 
reactivated my 3D card. 




or inconsequential. Beyond the 
looks, the graphics engine does an 
exceptional job of portraying the 
region's landmarks and complex 
topology without a hint of blocki- 
ness, rendering it all out to an 
impressive distance at the maxi- 
mum detail level. Best of all, read- 
ing the terrain is completely intu- 
itive. Low-level flying over such fine 


lAF's cockpit view system 
includes nine fixed views and a 
manual panning mode, but large 
gaps in coverage and slow panning 
speeds will force you to rely on the 
sim's autotracking padlock view in 
combat. This versatile view can lock 
onto air and ground targets, your 
wingman, incoming missiles, other 
nearby threats, or the centered 
object in any of the other views. 

Technological 

Progression 

Over the 32-year-period covered 
by lAF, you will progress from the 
French-made Mirage 111. through 
the venerable F-4E Phantom II, to 
more modern aircraft such as the F- 
15 Eagle, the F-16D Fighting Falcon 
(two-seat variant), the F-4 2000 (an 
upgraded Phantom), and Israel's 
own Kfir fighter-bomber and Lavi 
advanced technology demonstrator. 
A generic set of avionics features, 



PADLOCKED lAPs padlock 
view takes some getting 
used to. The arrow ^ows 


the direction and angle from 
your HUD to the target 


key commands, and symbology is 
used for ail the planes, with each 
type having its own specific combi- 
nation of capabilities. Older planes 
have basic radar sets and weapon 
selections, for instance, while the 
newest are equipped with far- 
seeing radars, a track-while-scan 
mode, and helmet-mounted sights, 
and have the ability to carry more 
advanced weaponry. The result may 
not be detailed enough to satisfy 
hard-core realism fanatics, but it is 
impressively close from a functional 
perspective — especially considering 
how many aircraft are modeled — 
while striking a balance between 
complexity and playability. 

The sim offers a good variety of 
ordnance types, including laser- 
guided bombs (with forward- 
looking infrared pods to designate 
targets), TV-guided bombs and 
missiles, Sidewinders (both older 
rear-aspect and contemporary all- 
aspect versions), semiactive radar- 
homing Sparrows, AMRAAMs, and 
Israel's Python 4 (arguably the 
deadliest dogfight missile in the 
world). The weapons modeling is 
good, but the lack of ballistic drop 
for cannon shells makes gun kills 
easier than they should be. 

The flight model in lAF is some- 
what simplified. Low-speed 
maneuverability of aircraft has 
been exaggerated for playability, 
but performance is otherwise fairly 
accurate and varies greatly 
between aircraft types. Though 
some realistic effects, such as 
accelerated (high-speed) stalls and 
rudder-induced roll, have been 
omitted, spins are still possible if 
you get careless. Control feel is 
normally nicely fluid; however, at 
low speeds it becomes extremely 


sensitive (the opposite occurs in 
real life), making landings and 
takeoffs unsatisfying, 

Sim Synergy 

lAF is clearly not the most accu- 
rate flight sim around: it tends 
toward "good enough for most’' 
realism and manageable complexi- 
ty. Its true strengths, which draw 
you back mission after mission, 
arise from its blend of engrossing 
mission designs, novel plane selec- 
tions, and originality of concept — a 
remarkable combination, [i'i'.'J 


Maximum 

Multiplayer 

I n addition to the usual 
deathmatches, lAF lets you 
play all six of its stand- 
alone campaigns in coopera- 
tive multiplayer mode. There 
are also six multiplayer-only 
single missions included, and 
you can generate custom 
team-based missions using the 
game's mission creator. Up to 
six players can join In on a 
LAN or over the Internet; 
unfortunately, modem and 
direct connect links are not 
supported. Internet gamers 
can meet up for multiplayer 
sessions at Jane's combat.net 
Web site; point your browser 
to www.janescombat.net. 

Muitipie chat options are 
avaiiabie for choosing the 
recipients of your text mes- 
sages. If you're too busy to 
type, you can send canned 
messages via function keys. 

For more realistic matchups 
in deathmatches and custom 
multiplayer missions, the sim 
expands the list of flyable air- 
craft types to inciude the MiG- 
23 Fiogger and MIG-29 
Fulcrum. Each craft is fully 
supported, with its own cock- 
pit graphics, flight model, and 
Soviet-made armament. Since 
the two MiGs are also avail- 
able in single-player custom 
missions, Egyptian/Syrian/ 
Jordanian/Iraqi players can 
practice flying them offline. 


, COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


.'.comfjiitcrgaming.com 






FIGHTER ACE 1.5 • REVIEW 


Flies Great, Less Thrilling 

Despite Numerous Improvements, FIGHTER ACE Remains a Light Experience 


by John Nolan 

T he first version of 
Microsoft’s FIGHTER 
ACE, aWWII multi- 
player air-combat 
game, gave the impres- 
sion that it was rushed 
out to provide content 
on the company's 
Internet Gaming Zone. The basic 
flight model was decent, and the 
graphics were quite good. How- 
ever, the gameplay had distinct 
problems with airfields too close 
together, no play features except 
dogfighting, and a view system 
that was poorly designed. The 
price was also high at S20 a 
month. To improve the situa- 
tion. the Zone recently 
launched FIGHTER ACE 1.5. 

Size Matters 

The small game map in the 
original FIGHTER ACE had only one 

computer '' 1 

GAMIMG 



APPEAL: Online pilots favoring fast, 
easy action in a simple setting. 

PROS: Low price: unlimited play; simple 
interface; fast-paced action. 

CONS: Limited gameplay options; small 
plane set; clumsy view system; no 3D 
hardware support. 

DIFFICULTY; Easy. 

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS; Pentium 
75; Windows 95; 1 6MB RAM; 9.5MB 
hard-drive space; VGA graphics; DirectX 
5.0; 28,8Kbps Internet access; Internet 
Explorer 3.02 or better, AOL 3.0 or high- 
er, or Netscape 4.x; mouse or compatible 
poiirting device. 

3D SUPPORT: None. 

MULTIPLAYER SUPPORT; Internet 
(Nonh AmeriQ only), modem. 

Price: SlQ/monih or S1.95/day 
Publisher: Microsoli 
Redmond. WA 
(800) 426-9400 


wvnv.zone.c 


airfield per country, arranged in a 
small square layout. Fields were 
so close together that you could 
not return to your base before 
your last victim was back hosing 
your six. The easy fix was to move 
fields farther apart; now each 
country has four fighter strips, 
with about three times as much 
space separating them from 
enemy fields. The mostly flat ter- 
rain has been modified with some 
rolling hills, making the low-level 
dogfights more challenging. This 
is definitely progress, although 
gameplay remains a fairly fast- 
paced, continuous furball; spread- 
ing the fields out even further 
wouldn't hurt. Some arenas still 





LITTLE FRIEND An FW-190 escorts computer-controlled bombers. 
The Ju-SS's continually call for escorts on their missions, but 
there's no real reason to help them — their raids don't really 
affect gameplay. 



use the old, small map, however, 
so someone must have liked it 
Dogfighting against human 
opponents is the main attraction 
of this genre. Still, a little variety 
never hurts, especially if there are 
few people online and potential 
victims are scarce. The new ver- 
sion adds "combat boxes" of 
computer/host-flown bombers 
cruising around and bombing air- 
fields. Players can attack these 
flights, but the bombers never 
close on a field completely, so 
they're no real threat. Their gun- 
ners are devastatingly accurate, 
and few attackers live through 
the encounter. 


You can strafe new 
tank parks, factories, 
and trains for points. 
You can also knock 
out the unbelievably 
deadly antiaircraft 
batteries. Unfortu- 
nately these batteries 
regenerate in about a 
minute so it's rarely 
worth the risk. The 
important thing is 
that these features 
now exist, a necessary 
first step in expanding 
the gameplay options. 

Seeing More Clearly 

FIGHTER ACE'S original clumsy 
and complex viewing has been 
improved somewhat. The old 
views remain — a veritable key- 
board ballet of disorientation, it's 
hard to understand views that 
don’t include any parts of the air- 
craft — like a side view without a 
visible wing. How do you judge 
relative position? 

The beginnings of an intuitive 
numeric keypad system have been 
implemented. Using one hand, just 
hit the keypad's appropriate direc- 
tion key; for example, the 4 key 
looks left. Holding down the Ctrl 


key while pressing a number will 
generate a 45-degree up view in 
that direction. It's not as simple or 
as complete as the classic, one- 
handed AIR WARRIOR system, but 
it's a start. With a programmable 
joystick, though, you can finally 
achieve an easily used, if barely 
adequate, view set. 

This release still lacks most of 
the common gameplay features of 
WARBIRDS or AIR WARRIOR. The 
small 16-plane inventory is made 
up purely of fighters, with no abil- 
ity to carry bombs and knock out 
the ack-ack from a safe altitude. 
There's no way for a country to 
capture fields or win, and despite 
the bombers and tank parks, dog- 
fighting is still the only game in 
town. While the realistic physics 
flight model is actually well done, 
with particularly good G-effects, 
the arenas that use it are almost 
always empty. The overly simplistic 
arcade flight model gets most of 
the play. 

The best part of the revision is 
the price cut. FIGHTER ACE now 
costs just $1 0/month for unlimited 
play. This is the same price as the 
more fully featured AIR WARRIOR, 
but at least it provides affordable 
fun for more casual pilots. 



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REVIEW • ARES RISING 


Privateer Too 

The Original PRIVATEER Team Is Back With a Spiritual Sequel 


by Thierry Nguyen 

he words final frontier 
bring to mind a vast area 
to be explored, full of 
hardships, surprises, and 
rewards. Origin's 
PRIVATEER was perhaps 
the last space sim to give 
you the feeling of explor- 
ing space, rather than just defend- 
ing it. A number of members of the 
PRIVATEER team have been holed 
up at Imagine Studios, working to 
create a spiritual successor to that 
classic title. ARES RISING, their first 
effort, proves to be a game with 
high ambitions, marred by a few 
problems and an engine that has 
fallen behind the times, 

The Name's Marlowe 

You play Mike Marlowe, a hot- 
shot rogue who scored with the 
princess and is now on the run 

computer'’ 1 

GAMIMG 




APPEAL fans of 
PRIVATEER, aspiring 
space mercenaries. 

PROS: Free-form, 
branching single- 
player campaign; 
large equipment 
variety; competent 
enemy Al. 

CONS: Woefully outdated graphics; 
forced pacing in singleplayer campaign; 
feel of freedom isn't quite there. 
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate 
REQUIREMENTS: Pentium 133, 
Windows 95. 16MB RAM, 150MB hard- 
drive space, 2x CD-ROM, DireclXS- 
compatibie sound and video cards. 

3D SUPPORT: DirecGD. 

MULTIPLAYER SUPPORT: TCP/IR LAN, 
modem, or serial connection (2-8 play- 
ers); 1 CD per player. 

Price: 129.9S 
Publisher: Imagine Studios 
Austin, TX 
(877)372-7747 



from the law (a Han Solo type, 
essentially). You're contaaed by a 
woman who promises you steady 
work and a cozy little base hidden 
on an asteroid field in the middle 
of nowhere — and that's where it 
all starts. 

After going through the stan- 
dard easy training missions, you 
drop into the main plot line (writ- 
ten by Gilbert Austin of STRIKE 
COMMANDER and PRIVATEER fame), 
which concerns the discovery of a 
mighty alien device known as the 
Micomicon. A power struggle 


develops among the IPEC, the 
Scavage, the Mayjr, and various 
other factions, and you're there to 
support the IPEC... at first, at least, 
The single-player campaign is of 
the branching variety: You'll create 
different alliances with the many 
factions depending on what deci- 
sions you make when accepting 
missions, how you treat other craft 
in space, and what success you 
achieve. This adds a nice bit of 
replayability, because the differing 
alliances lead you to one of five 
game endings. 





Managing Merc Money 

You'll spend about as much time 
at home base as you will flying 
missions. ARES RISING is loaded 
with information. Between mis- 
sions. you get a steady stream of 
AP -style news clippings about the 
happenings within the gameworld. 
While you don't have to sit down 
and read these, taking the time to 
do so greatly enhances the atmos- 
phere. In addition, you have your 
own email inbox, and when you 
finish a plot mission you always 
have a personal log where 
Marlowe muses about his progress. 

The background is nice, but if 
ARES RISING has a claim to fame, 
it's the gigantic list of equipment 
and the play-balancing that went 
into that equipment No other 
space sim in recent memory has 
such a diverse arsenal. Cannons fall 
into three categories, with beam 
weapons being best used against 
shields, ballistic weapons specializ- 
ing in armor, and particle weapons 
suitable for taking out both. 

Missiles come in varying flavors of 
locking (from antiradar to rear- 
aspect heat-seeking), supply (single- 
fire or multiple pods), and even 
armament (EMP warhead or mine- 
laying). You can even lay mines or 
automatic turrets that will guard a 
certain stretch of space. 

In addition, you'll find cloaks 
that mask you from anything and 
everything (at a high cost in energy 
and cargo space), jamming mecha- 
nisms that block out all communi- 
cations, ECM systems of varying 
quality, and flight-control systems 
that affect how well your ship 
interprets your joystick input. 
There's also passive and active 
radar (the passive has a longer 
range and fewer emissions, but 
doesn't give as much information). 

Missions for Money 

While the gameplay is fairly 
reminiscent of the Mercenaries 


COMPUTER CAWING WORLD « DECEMBER 1998 


'canipu|prj?.irning.< 




ARES RISING • REVIEW 




D«aKr.£r«vAa«« v 


RIGHT TOOL FOR THE JOB 
luster graphics, the play I 


BOOTY CALL One indicator 
of a well-done mission Is 
when you score salvage off 
of the ships you defeated. 


PUFF OF SMOKE The dated graphics make for unspectacular 
explosions, even with 3D acceleration. 


Guild missions in PRIVATEER, there's 
no trading here. You simply punch 
up your email to see what missions 
are available, choose one, outfit 
your ship, and then launch away. 
The mission types include patrol 
surveys, contract hits, escorts, and 
plot missions. 

The standard missions have a 
sameness to them: You'll circle 
around some waypoints and shoot 
down whomever you're assigned 
to shoot down. Each mission ends 
when you find the right jump-gate 
and use it to return to your aster- 
oid base. Then again, that was the 
way it was for most of the mis- 
sions in PRIVATEER. 

The flight model can be toggled 
between the traditional, arcadelike 
mode found in the V\/ING 
COMMANDER and STAR WARS sims, 
and the slightly more realistic iner- 
tial mode. Depending on how big 
your ship is, the inertial mode 
makes it harder for you to slow 
down and turn. It falls somewhere 
between WING COMMANDER and 
INDEPENDENCE WAR In complexity. 
There are six flyable ships, divided 
among fighters, scouts, and 
bombers. They differ in terms of 
carrying capacity and genera! 
maneuverability. 

During the course of the game, 
you can hire wingmen to help out 
during your missions. While their 
quality doesn't approach the ele- 
gance of the FREESPACE wingmen, 
these pilots are good enough for 
the job {if you hire the right ones). 
One nice touch: You can dictate 


were free to put the plot on hold, 
doing whatever you wanted until 
you decided to initiate a plot mis- 
sion. But in this email system. I 
found that a plot mission was the 
on/y choice left after 1 had finished 
two or three random missions. This 
is just a bit too much structure in 
what would've been a fine, free- 
form game. 

One additional gripe is that 
you're shown how much room the 
equipment you're buying will take 
up, but until you buy a ship, you 
don't know how much it can cany, 
if I'd known the ship’s specs before- 
hand, I wouldn't have 
made the mistake so 
often of buying nice 
equipment only to find 
out that my new ship 
didn't have enough 
cargo space. 


A Rising Star Is Falling 

Some real annoyances detract 
significantly from the game, how- 
ever. For one thing, the engine is 
quite dated compared to modern 
standards. Even with DirectSD, the 
ships look as if they've traveled 
from years past, with decent tex- 
tures piaced on top of hokey mod- 
els. Firing effects for both cannons 
and missiles look simple and 
arcadelike, the shield effect is a bit 
simplistic, and the capital ships 
aren't very impressive. 

ARES RISING also fails to give you 
much of a feel of personal freedom. 
In PRIVATEER and other games, you 
roamed the galaxy at will, just 
going places and doing different 
things. While ARES RISING has a 
decent amount of mission variety, 
you always proceed from and 
return to your asteroid base, which 
doesn't have the same "travel the 
vast galaxy" feel. 

What's more, you can't really set 
your own pace as you progress 
through the plot. In PRIVATEER, you 


Alone Out There 


in multiplayer mode, 
you'll have a persistent 
pilot who has to gain 
money and goods to 
build his ship. In addition 
to team and deathmatch 
modes, you can fly 
against Al opponents in randomly 
generated missions. Alas, I couldn't 
find an opponent with whom to 
test the Internet multiplayer action. 
Without support from any of the 
gaming services, you have to go to 
Imagine's Web site to find anyone 
else willing to play. 

Several things ultimately make 
this game above average; the diver- 
sity of equipment, the single-player 
branching plot line, and the gen- 
erally challenging Al. While the 
gameplay rivals that of PRIVATEER, 
the engine is such that the game 
would have made a much stronger 
impression two years ago. Now that 
the space-sim arena has games like 
INDEPENDENCE WAR and FREESPACE, 
ARES Rising's dated graphics really 
hurt it. Hopefully, Imagine will build 
upon the good intentions of this 
first effort and make a more solid 
overall game next time. For now, if 
you're more interested in personali- 
ty than a pretty face, you'll probably 
find ARES Rising worth the S30 
price tag. 


general flying style to your wing- 
men (passive or active, beams first, 
and so on), and they are intelligent 
enough to use different weapons at 
appropriate times. 

The enemy Al is also generally 
competent. At times they will use 
good tactiG, such as using passive 
radar at the right time or using the 
asteroids for cover. At other times, 
though, they simply can't shake you 
off, no matter what craft each of 
you is piloting. 


I 


'computergaming 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD ■ DECEMBER 199B M 






REVIEW • SPEARHEAD 


Blunt Instrument 

Interactive Magic Forgets Who Its Audience Is 



THOSE ARE SOME SHOCKS The ride of an Abrams in SPEARHEAD 
is closer to that of a Lincoln Town Car than an AFV. 


by Jim Cobb 

I n an attempt to answer criti- 
cisms leveled at the playabil- 
ity and limited graphics of 
iM1A2 ABRAMS, Interactive 
Magic has made its latest 
tank affair, SPEARHEAD, quite 
glitzy and has narrowed the 
game's focus to a smaller 
command scale. What could have 
been a decent light arcade game, 
however, suffers from being forced 
into a simulation format. 


World Policeman 

The premise of SPEARHEAD is 
that the United States intervenes 
as Libya invades Tunisia. Engage- 
ments come in three flavors: seven 
tutorials (which are actually pretty 
good). 10 single engagements, and 
any number of randomly gener- 
ated. yet nondynamic, campaigns. 
Most mission objectives include 


APPEAL Neither 
tank enthusiasts 
nor arcade fans 
will (ike it 
PROS: Nice 
enough graphics; 
sexier than iM1A2 
ABRAMS. 

CONS: Unrealistic; 
simplistic victory conditions; dumsy 
interface. 

DIFFICULTY: Easy. 

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS; P-133, 
Windows 95, 16MB RAM, 9.5MB hard- 
drive space; 4MB graphic card, 2x CD- 
ROM; supports DirectX<ompatible sound 
cards and MS force-feedbad: joysticks. 

3D SUPPORT: D3D, 3Dfx, and Power VR. 
MULTIPLAYER SUPPORT: TCP/IP LAN 
(2-1 2 players), Internet (2-S players), 
modem; all 1 player per CO. 

Price: S39.95 

Publisher: Interactive Magic 
Research Triangle Park, NC 
(800) 789-1534 


destroying all enemies, reaching a 
waypoint, and escorting supply 
convoys. Fair enough, except that 
you can win by achieving victory 
objectives regardless of your losses. 
Obviously, the U.S. forces in SPEAR- 
HEAD don't have to worry about 
public backlash due to high losses, 
as was the case in Desert Storm. 

You command a platoon of 
three tanks plus assets, and though 
infantry is included in the force 
mix, it is generally scarce when you 
need it most. Worse, it has 
unknown antitank capabilities. 
Artillery, on the other hand, seems 
to always show up for battle, and 
it's always maddeningly accurate. 

See Scenic Tunisia? 

Given the number of tank games 
set in the desert, it's hard to get 
that excited about looking at sand 
again. However, this Tunisian land- 
scape has a nice haze in the dis- 
tance, and the dunes are easy to 
use for hull-down positions. The 
nine U.S. vehicles and five U.S, air- 
craft are modeled well enough 
externally, although the 10 enemy 
entities and three civilian vehicles 
appear to be stylized. There are no 
interior views so the driver and 
gunner screens give you the feel of 
sitting on the outside of the tank. 


Aside from eye-candy considera- 
tions. the M1A2‘s characteristics 
have been stripped. SPEARHEAD 
provides only for HEAT and SABOT 
rounds, even giving them antiair 
capability. When you drive your 
tank, you never need worry about 
smoke, and the ride is way too 
smooth. Gunnery is simple: Point, 
laze, and fire, with no indirect 
options. Although vehicle compo- 
nents can be damaged, the usual 
result is the enemy's destruction. 
Unlike in most sims, crew members 
don't notify the commander of 
damage; he must notice something 
wrong and view another screen. 

IVIS Eyes 

The fatal flaw of 
this game is the 
interface for the 
Inter-Vehicular 
Information System 
(IVIS), which affords 
you a bird's-eye 
view of the field and 
lets you issue orders 
to vehicles and 
assets. A hot-key 
accesses a textured 
contour map, which 
in turn leads to 
three other menus. 

You execute the six 


vehicle orders (map zoom, com- 
munication, and the like) by first 
clicking on the order, then clicking 
on the vehicle, clicking on the 
target, and — finally — exiting. So, 
to give a set of orders to a single 
vehicle (or artillery or infantry unit) 
requires seven (or more) clicks! 

This would be bad enough in a 
turn-based game, but in a real- 
time simulation it's unforgivable. 

While you can drive toward a 
target via the IVIS, you aren't 
going to find good hull-down 
positions. In general, operating 
your tank is a confusing blur of 
joystick, keys, and keypad arrows: 
A real action game, much less a 
sim, should have better controls 
than this. The confusion extends 
to the manual, which spends too 
much time dealing with multi- 
player issues for which the sce- 
narios provided are ill suited. 
Forget the mission editor; there 
are far better products available. 

SPEARHEAD does have a few 
good points, such as refugees 
and conveniently marked mine- 
fields, but these hardly compen- 
sate for the clumsy interface, 
strange vehicle controls, or sim- 
plistic victory conditions. It's hard 
to imagine either serious tank- 
sim enthusiasts or fans of arcade 
armor games finding much to 
enjoy here.S3I7 






DEADEYE DICK The human tank comman- 
der has near-complete intelligence and 
superior arms. The Al reaiiy can't put up 
much of a fight 


COMPUTER 

GAMIMGI 


-WORLD 





COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


v.compulcrKdminf;.c 








F-16 Rggressar is the closest anyone 
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real thing and uie'd have to shoot you. 


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Uniquely detailed enemy 
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REVIEW • WARBIRDS 2.01 


Furballs in 3D Major 

The Classic Internet Sim Gets a 3D Makeover 


: 


by John Nolan 

I very day, hundreds of 
WARBIRDS gainers enlist 
in the service of one of 
I four generic countries 
and cruise the Internet 
skies looking for trouble. 
Using 50 different WWII 
I aircraft, they dogfight, 
attack ground targets, and try to 
capture airfields to "win the war" 
for their chosen flag. The absolute 
best aspect of WARBIRDS is that 
its designers are never satisfied. 
Since the debut of the sim back in 
December 1995, new versions 
have appeared every few months. 
The latest major upgrade, version 
2.01, delivers beautifully rendered 
3D aircraft and terrain, all new 2D 
cockpit art, revised flight models, 
and new airframe stress limits. 
Overall, it's a tourde force that 


computer' 1 

WORLD 




APPEAL Those 
who want to fight 
human opponents 
in realistic WWiI 
aircraft 

PROS: Excellent 
graphics; great 
flight mo*i: superb 
damage/stress 
modeling.' free head-to-head play. 

CONS: Extremely expensive arena play; 
3D requires fast CPU and 3D accelerator. 
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate. 
REQUIREMENTS: Pentium 90 (P-1 33 
for D3D version), 16MB RAM (32MB for 
D30 version), DirectXS-compatible sound 
and video cards, Internet connection. 

3D SUPPORT: Direct 30. 
MULTiPUYER SUPPORT: Modem, 

LAN (2 players), TCP/IP (2 players), 
Internet arena (2-1 50+ players); 1 CD 
per player. 

Price: Free Internet download; J30 per 20 
hours of play 

Publisher: Interactive Magic 
Research Triangle Park, MC 
(919) ‘161-0722 


www.imagicgames.c 



makes WARBIRDS the flight leader 
in online air combat. 

Nice Wings, Baby 

The centerpiece of this revision 
is the 3D art. Artwork gets deliv- 
ered in standard (640x480) or high 
resolution (1024x768), although 
the high-res 3D requires a fast 
Pentium ll-dass CPU to deliver a 
playable frame-rate. (The published 
minimum CPU requirements are 
unrealistically low for smooth play.) 
Either way, aircraft graphics are 
historically accurate, stunning, and 
incredibly detailed. You'll see repre- 
sentative squadron markings on 
the planes, exhaust smudges from 
the engines, and excellent light- 
sourcing. Tbe ground looks realis- 
tic, and the sky presentation is just 
as good; superb special effects, 
such as flak bursts, complete the 
package. 

If you don't have a fast Direct3D 
accelerator card, you'll still find the 
game eminently playable in 2D 
mode. All gameplay capabilities are 
the same and the 2D artwork is 
outstanding. In fact, the cockpit 
interiors and gauges are drawn in 
exceptionally detailed 2D in both 
resolution settings. The cockpits 
include bit-mapped gauges mod- 
eled on actual instruments, with 
new working g-meters, engine oil 
pressure- and temperature gauges, 
and other instruments added to 
the display. As cutting edge as the 
2D cockpits are, you'll get an even 
more amazing visual experience if 
you have a 3D accelerator card. 

Combat Stressed 

The improved flight model more 
accurately reflects the handling 
differences between the various 
aircraft, which adds real depth to 
the 50 different planes included in 
the simulation. You may master 
the Spitfire, but strapping on a 
Focke Wulf will call for a much dif- 
ferent approach to air combat 


maneuvers. The stall and spin char- 
acteristics of each aircraft are a 
major part of these differences 
and receive particular attention in 
the upgrade. While most of the 
planes still seem reluctant to enter 
a full spin, the effects and recovery 
techniques are more realistic once 
the plane is actually in the spin. 

Stress limits are now part of the 
flight mode! computations: Dive too 
quickly and you can pull a wing off. 
Overspeeding gear or flaps will 
stick them in position and degrade 
your flight performance. The 
detailed damage model also affects 
aircraft performance: If your right 
aileron gets shot away, your plane's 



MIXING METAL Collisions 
with enemy planes— or 
fragments of former enemy 
planes— prove instantly 
fatal, so don’t get too dose. 



roll performance deteriorates 
accordingly. Many other sims don't 
model battle damage this specifi- 
cally. WARBIRDS shines in this area 
with a sophisticated damage map 
that tracks where each bullet hits 
and even alters the plane's appear- 
ance in the 3D mode. 

The designers aren't resting yet, 
either. Plans for the next revision 
include an improved game inter- 
face, changes to field-capture 
requirements, a new scoring/ 
awards system, and paratroopers. 

The downside to all of this is 
that WARBIRDS 2.01 is priced con- 
siderably higher than its two 
competitors. Its outdated pricing 
model of $30 for 20 hours of play 
and $2 per additional hour seems 
particularly outrageous when you 
compare it to the flat rate of $10 
per month for unlimited play on 
AIR WARRIOR or FIGHTER ACE. 
However, you can fly head-to- 
head against a friend for free, and 
there are now some offline train- 
ing missions. 

Despite its sky-high pricing 
scheme, this WWII sim boasts an 
incredibly loyal clientele. It's the 
best online flight sim out there; but 
excellence here, as in the rest of life, 
comes at a higher price. W 


.COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


/.computergaming ■ 





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• 

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irJi 







REVIEW * NFL CAMEDAY 99 


Stuffed at the Goal Line? 

NFL Gameday 99 Doesn 't Quite Get Over the Top 


by Brett Todd 

he fever hit early this 
summer. I don't really 
know why. Maybe I'd 
sniffed too much 
propane while cooking 
up burgers on the B6Q. 
Maybe I'd just seen one 
too many Mark McGwire 
highlights. Regardless, by the time 
mid-August rolled around, I was 
salivating over thoughts of the 
upcoming NFL season. 

This left me in kind of a tough 
way for a few weeks, After all, 
there's only so much that anemic 
preseason games, a stack of 
pigskin preview mags, and the 
soothing voice of that guy from 
NFL Films could do to tide me 
over until opening day. Thankfully, 
there was an alternative. Instead 
of waiting for Fox to defrost Terry 





.WORI-E> 




APPEAL: Football 
fans who want to 
check out the new 
(PC) kid on the 
block. 

PROS: Challenging 
solo play with good 
computer Al; 

Internet action-play 
option. 

CONS: Teams too similar, one playbook 
for everybody; Internet play often suffers 
from lag problems. 

DIFFICULTY l£VEL: Intermediate, 
REQUIREMENTS: Pentium 166 with 
Dire<d3D compatible graphics accelerator 
card- Windows 95/98, 8x CD-ROM, 
Windows 95/98 sound card, 32MB RAM, 
3D SUPPORT: SOfx, D3D-compatible 
cards, including most major chipsets. 
MULTIPLAYER SUPPORT: 2 players 
via modem {28.8Kbps or faster required), 
IPX, orTCP/lP LAN: 1 CD per player. 

Price: S39.99 

Publisher: 989 studios {Sony Computer 
Enteilsinmeni America) 

Foster City, Ca 
(883)426-3702 


wsvw.989studios.( 







MAYBE THIS WILL COOL YOU DOWN, DEON Soldier Field looks pretty uninvit- 
ing to these hot-blooded Texans. 


MADDEN 99? Is it a 
potential contender 
for football game of 
the year, or just 
another half-baked 
console port? Well, 
after much careful 
consideration I have 
to say... yes. 

After more than 
30 games with 
GAMEDAY 99, I'm 
still trying to pin 
this one down. The 
game does 
just 

enough right that I have 
fun playing it, but it's a 
guilty pleasure akin to 
tapping your feet to the 
Spice Girls' hit "Wanna- 
be." You enjoy the 
moment, until, "What 
the hell am I doing?" 
pops into your mind. 


up GAMEDAY 99 are 
the great visuals and 
in-your-face audio. 
The presentation is 
first-rate all the way, 
from the hit-packed 
opening video 
through the on-field 
graphics, which are 
easily the best I've 
seen in a PC football 
game to date. 
Authentic stadiums 
and real-time 
weather with chang- 
ing field conditions 
help provide atmos- 
phere; a game at 
Solider Field in snowy 
weather feels as cold 
on my PC as it would 
in the stands. 

A DirectSD acceler- 
ator is required to 
see all this eye candy, but the 
designers have thoughtfully 
included support for just about 
every chipset under the sun. 

Sound is also excellent, with all 
the tackles and pile-ups accentu- 
ated with just the right amount of 
grunts and crashes, Dick Enberg 
and Phil Simms handle the play- 
by-play in adequate fashion, 
though their lack of awareness 
gets irritating at times. Stuff the 
opposition on 4th-and-one and 
you're likely to hear Dick come up 


Bradshaw, I could check out NFL 
GAMEDAY 99 on my PC. 989 
Studios jumped the gun this sea- 
son and made sure that gamers 
could spend the last days of sum- 
mer playing its port of the popu- 
lar Sony PlayStation title. 

Of course, NFL GAMEDAY's being 
a PC rookie and hitting the shelves 
early in the season raises a couple 
of important questions. Is it a 
legit title or merely a time-filler for 
those too impatient to wait for 


Missing in Action 

The first things that 
you'll notice on booting 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD ♦ DECEMBER 1998 


L'.computerguming.c 





NFL GAMEDAY 99 • REVIEW 







HEY, NOT TOO CLOSE, JOHNNY! John Elway and his center get up 
close and personal (now we know how he pulled his hammy). 


with, "That can't be good for 
more than a couple." 

Fourth and Forever 

Unfortunately, the visceral 
thrills wear off pretty fast — and 
then you'll start to notice what 
/sn'f there. The designers at 989 
Sports didn't make a lot of 
changes from the PlayStation ver- 
sion, and it shows, as the game 
lacks a number of little, and not- 
so-little, extras. 

For example, there's no player 
editor. The manual omits most 
useful information, and then gar- 
bles what is there for good mea- 
sure. There's no practice mode. 

You can call your play and then 
sit back to watch the computer 
play out the result, but this isn't a 
true coaching mode because 
without your help on the game- 
pad your boys are doomed. 

There's no way to play different 
league schedules, so you must 
replay the 1998 season over and 
over again. Games can't be saved 
in progress. You can play full 1 5- 
minute quarters, but no time ticks 
off during huddles, so expect a lot 
of 75-55 scores if you insist on 
playing with the real-world clock. 
About the only concession to the 
PC crowd is a draft league option. 


But the most obvious flaw is the 
lack of any real differentiation 
between the teams, at least as 
long as you're guiding them. While 
dubs do have strengths in various 
areas, these aren't nearly as pro- 
nounced as they should be. The 
end result of this is a level playing 
field in which even the lowly (but 
rising. I'll give 'em that) Seattle 
Seahawks have a good shot at 


taking out the shoulda-been Super 
Bowl champion Packers on even 
the Rookie difficulty setting. 

This makes for a challenging 
solo play experience, of course, but 
seeing the overpaid, over-rated 
likes of Ricky Watters make mince- 
meat of one of the best defensive 
units in the league for four solid 
quarters tends to get annoying. 

To make matters even worse, 
all the teams share the same 
playbook — which you're stuck 
with thanks to that lack of a play 
editor. So even though the New 
York Giants prefer a ground 
attack (like they've got a choice 
with Danny Kanell taking the 
snaps), they're working with the 


same plays as the bomb- 
happy New England 
Patriots. This gets irritat- 
ing fast because the same 
plays work for everyone 
pretty much equally. On 
the other hand, even 
though ! did discover a 
few plays with high rates 
of success, I wasn't able 
to find any money plays. 


Soooo 
Satisfying... 

GAMEDAY 99's one saving 
grace — and it's a big one — is 
smart, exciting action once you get 
on the field. When you actually 
start running plays, the game is 
strong enough to make you forget 
about (most of) the flaws and con- 
centrate on the always-challenging 
task of beating the PC. While the 
player can make virtually every 
team and player in the game per- 


form at the 
same level, the 
computer Al 
doesn't run the 
squads like that. 

After starting 
a season with 
my beloved 
Cowboys, i was 
pleasantly sur- 
prised to find 
the PC-guided 
Giants using a 
ball-control 
strategy against 
me while the 
high-flying Raiders attacked me 
with an incessant aerial assault. I 
was faced with a realistically man- 
aged opponent in virtually every 
game I played. Players were always 
just a little bit better than they 
should have been, but once I got 
into the trenches i was too caught 
up with trying to win to really care. 
And since the game is such a chal- 
lenge, winning gave me a sense of 
satisfaction that I haven't felt since 
Sierra's FRONT PAGE SPORTS: 
FOOTBALL PRO people last delivered 
a bug-free product. . .and man, 
that's quite a while ago. 

The arcade play is also satisfy- 
ing. Unlike a lot of other football 
games with arcade options, this 
one really works — meaning that 
you can actually do things with 
your gamepad that have an effect 
on the game. Players do move in a 
somewhat awkward diagonal 
motion that takes some getting 


used to, but once you get the hang 
of which buttons do what (you 
can configure everything, as well), 
you'll be juking your way to extra 
yardage and batting passes away 
in no time. Even straightforward 
tackling is fun thanks to the ani- 
mation that depicts even the most 
mediocre stop as a 'wrap-'em-up- 
and-body-slam-'em' bone crunch- 
er. Realistic? No, Fun? Heck, yeah. 

The ability to play full-action 
games over the Internet through 
989 Studios' online matching ser- 
vice is also a plus, although this is 
not without its defects. Besides the 
seemingly unavoidable lag difficul- 
ties, the chief kink involves a bug 
in the kicking game. Booting extra- 
points and FGs — not to mention 
getting decent yardage on punts 
and kickoffs — is virtually impossi- 
ble as of this writing due to latency 
problems that cause the kick meter 
to stutter, A patch issued at the 
start of September lessened the 
severity of this problem, but it can 
still be an issue at times. 

End Zone 

Overall, NFL GAMEDAY 99 is an 
enjoyable but frustrating experi- 
ence. The basic design limitations 
force you to make too many con- 
cessions to consider it as a major 
player in the football sim arena, 
It'll do until opponents like 
MADDEN 99 and FOOTBALL PRO 99 
arrive, but after that it's doubtful 
whether any serious PC pigskin 
fans will keep playing. 


I 


v.compu(erg.imin(’.( 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD • DECEMBER 1998 




REVIEW • MOTOCROSS MADNESS 


Mud in Your Eye! 

Finally, a Realistic Motocross Game 



by Greg Fortune 

here are computer simu- 
lations of most sports 
that try to capture the 
essence and excitement 
of what makes the sport 
great. Some sports, such 
as football and basebaii, 
have enjoyed severai 
years of serious, outstanding, reai- 
istic computer games. Things have 
not been so good for everyone, 
however. Those of us who ride 
motocross bikes have had nothing 
but iame attempts to put homoge- 
nous bumps in a track that force 
your bike into the air. Let me teii 
you, that's not what it's aii about. 

So who would have figured that 
Microsoft wouid take aii the mud 
that's been flung at them and use 
it to make MOTOCROSS MADNESS, 
the finest off-road motorcycle 
game ever created? 

computer' 

GAMiniG 

R l_ D 




APPEAL Anyone 
who's fantasized 
about riding one of 
these babies. 

PROS: Excellent 
physics model; wide 
variety of play 
modes; outstanding 
3D graphics; butt-simple track editor. 
CONS: Poor documentation. 
DIFFICULTY LEVEL Intermediate. 
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: Pentium 
166 with 2MB 3D card or Pentium 133 
with 4MB 3D card, Windows 95/98, 8x 
CD-ROM, Windows 95/98, 1 6MB RAM, 
BOMB hard-drive space. 

3D SUPPORT: D30, 3Dfx. 
MULTIPLAYER SUPPORT: modem {2 
players), LAN or IPX (2-8 players), 
Internet via Internet Gaming Zone (2-4 
players); 1 CD per player. 

Price: t54.95 

Designer: Rairrbow Studios 
Publisher: Mictosoh Corp. 

Redmond, WA. 

(425) 882-8080 








HtGH RISK MOVES Better get those feet 
back on the pegs before landing, or you'll 
be wearing your pants as a hat 


MOMMY! Hey, if you don't pull this 
one off, at least you'll already be in 
the fetal position! 


modeled so you can go 
anywhere your heart 
desires. This is especially 
true of the stunt quarries, 
where the name of the 
game is seeing how many 
points you can score for 
pulling off any of the 16 
(yes that's 16} available 
stunts. They're all there: 
barneys, nak-naks, super- 
man, the big kahuna, and 
more. If you've got enough 
air and planned your jump well, 
you just might make it. If not, you 
are in for some really big crashes. 
Some of the stunts are (realisti- 
cally) difficult to master. 

Your virtual rider can be com- 
pletely controlled from a standard 
game pad. He leans, shifts his 
weight forward and back, and 


confirmed my impression — this 
game rules. Now everyone can get 
a taste of what makes motocross 
such an awesome sport for less 
than the cost of a new Metzler for 
my Y2. If you like bikes, or just like 
having fun, you should check this 
one out. It's one of the year’s 
gaming highlights. LKciVi 


Biker Tricks 

The game's interface is very easy 
to navigate, and the options are 
very straightforward, You have your 
choice of four different types of 
tracks; Stunt Quarry, Baja, Super- 
cross, and Nationals. Each type has 
several riding areas, so there's a lot 
of replay value. The garage screen 
is also quite simple and lets you 
modify everything from your motor 
to springs, shocks, and traction. 

One thing you need to know is 
that if you don't have a 3D accel- 
erator, you can't play MOTOCROSS 
MADNESS. Just as in the real 
sport, you have to have the 
proper equipment to get out on 
the trails. If you do have a 30 
card, you are in for a treat. The 
graphics are fast, smooth, and 
detailed. The game looks equally 
gorgeous in D3D or 3Dfx mode, 
so either way you win. The bikes 
are wonderfully detailed and 
model everything from the teeth 
on the rear sprocket to the puff of 
grey-blue smoke out of your pipe 
when you first open the throttle. 
The distinctive growl of the two- 
stroke engine even sounds right. 

Barney Meets Superman 

Once you've selected a bike 
and a riding area the real fun 
begins. The areas are fully 


even stands on the 
pegs appropriately. 

The physics of the 
bike and rider are very 
well done. One of the 
most popular ways to 
turn a bike around if 
you are stopped on a 
trail pointing the 
wrong direction is to 
lean the bike over and 
"roost" the back tire 
around behind you. I 
was happy to find 
that this move also 
works here. You can 
also pull wheelies, 
twist the bike in the 
air, and fly over the 
bars with amazing 
realism. 

King of the 
Open Road 

I was worried 
that I was partial to 
this game because I 
actually like to ride 
motocross bikes, but 
several other non- 
riding people have 


wwvv.coiiipuUTgamin/’.com 


COiVIPUTER CAA/IINC WORLD « DECE/VIBER 1998 




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PsygiKxa assumes no resfxiRsdstlily fie iiKcaiiglcTe, illegible, knt. late, or misdifetted erarks or mail. A ‘golf round' includes 18 holes of golf, srairr isxj, driving range, can, fbee 
caddie (fore caddie griniicy no> included! A umner w ill he ncairKsl by .March 1, 1999. One entry per hou-ehnld Any ttmner mua lie over IH years and muat (uinish pnanf of age 
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OI99S IdteHigfnt Odmestldyrsygriosis UdDcs-jinea b/lnletij'.cnl Gimevl’ro I B World four Golf, fo/gnosi? and the f'lntt'Oiis lo|0 are"- orSPsygnosu LimiVed.AII riKlitv lecerved.l he raimp icon n a trademark of the Interaetivc Digital Software Aiscoation 






^3U 


1968, they changed the rules ef Grand Prix racing 
tn cut down on driver fatalities. 


mmmv 

I E G E IV D S " 


Powered hy 




01998 Sierra On-Line, Inc. *and™de$ign3le trademarks of, Of licensed to, Sierra On-Urte, Inc., BeBevue, WA 98007. At nghts reserved. Papyrus and it>e 
PapyrusfogoaretrademarksofPapynjsDespnGrDup.Inc. At oUrertredemarksareBiepropertyol their re^iecbve owners and are used under permission. 


www.8ierrasports.com 





Pulling out of a power slide. The g-forces throwing you around the cockpit. You realize, 
you’re sitting behind the truest 3D engine ever built. Racing the likes of Jack Brabham and 
Jim Clark. At Monza, Spa and Nurburgring. 1967 was a historic turning point in Formula 
One racing. Welcome to Grand Prix Legends™. Racing sims will never be the same. 



Go to #135 @ www.computergaming.com/infoIlnk 


REVIEW • REDLINE RACER 


Slow Down 

Redline Racer Offers Quick Thrills, but Even Quicker Crashes 


M JiM ei Ml 





FLYING THROUGH THE AIR This sort of accident is not uncom- 
mon on the suicidal Le Grand Blanc 


little vehicle dynamics (espe- 
cially when compared with 
Microsoft's MOTOCROSS MAD- 
NESS or Intense Simulation's 
SUPERBIKE WORLD CHAMPIONS). 
REDLINE players have just one 
incentive — to unlock better 
bikes and inaccessible circuits 
by winning races. 

And, because the only win- 
ning race is usually a crash-free 
race, REDLINE RACER becomes a 
very repetitive process of drive 
for a bit, crash, restart, repeat. 



DAY AT THE BEACH A speed of 
281 KPH is good enough for 
only 8th place. This game is 
too fast. 


by Gordon Goble 

Y ou know those 

dreams where you're 
falling faster and 
faster and you're 
nearly moving at the 
speed of light yet you 
know you've got to 
fall even fester if 
you're gonna escape those 
demons nipping at your hurtling 
body but if you go any faster 
you'll either smack something 
with staggering force or perhaps 
even evaporate? 

Well that's what REDLINE RACER 
is like. Can you handle this sort of 
speed? I couldn't. 

Watch Your Speed 

Well, let me rephrase that. I 
can't handle racing games in 
which the challenge lies in beat- 
ing the program's opponents over 

compl/ter' 1 

GAMII^ 




APPEAL: Very 
patient motorcycle 
racing fans. 

PROS: Pretty, 
detailed, and varied 
environments; 
superb crash 
effects. 

CONS: Too much speed for the intricate 
courses, too much variability in trackside 
boundaries, and too many blind oppo- 
nents spell too many pinball-like crashes. 
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Advanced. 
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: Pentium 1 33 
(vwlh 3Dfc( car^; Windows 95/98, 4x CD- 
ROM; 16MB RAM. 

3D SUPPORT: 3Dfx, 03D-compatible 
cards, most major 3D chipsets. 
MULTIPUYER SUPPORT: Modem, 
LAN, or Internet (all 2-8 players): 1 CD 
per player. 

Price; $49.99 

Designer: Criterion Studios 
Publisher: Ubi Soft Entertainment 
Montreal, Quebec 
(800)UBI-SOFT 



courses that are too tight for the 
speed. In England-based devel- 
oper Criterion Studios' REDLINE 
RACER, victory in all but the intro- 
ductory level relies on two fac- 
tors: an ability to drive incredibly 
fast over the span of a sub-five 
minute event, and the good for- 
tune to steer clear of the artifi- 
cially unintelligent opponents 
along the way. 

To make matter worse, the 
game locks away nearly two- 
thirds of its bikes and tracks for 
those who can successfully navi- 
gate the first circuits at the sadis- 
tically quick "Medium" and 
"Hard" difficulty levels. With no 
championship mode, no garage, 
crash-happy opponents, and very 


Well, It's Pretty 

That said, REDLINE is not a total 
loss. With 1 0 tracks spread across 
six unique, detailed environments, 


REDLINE puts on a solid graphic 
show designed to take advantage 
of 3D accelerator cards. Expect 
falling snow, icy climes, and rib- 
bon-thin roadways at Le Grand 
Blanc, sand, surf, and some beau- 
tiful sun and lens flare effects at 
Sandy Cove; dusk racing at the 
quiet country meadows; and huge 
dips and dales at Tudor Hill.you'W 
see much more than this if you 
progress through the game. 

But, no matter which course 
you select, it's hard to tell just 
where the navigable world ends 
and the invisible crash-o-matic 
trackside boundaries begin. 
Granted, most boundaries — rock 
walls, cliff faces, man-made 
barriers, and the like — are appar- 
ent, yet other seemingly obvious 
borders are quite negotiable. 

The game depicts crashes in 
exceedingly dramatic fashion. 
Bikes twirl and skip across the 
landscape while dislodged riders 
bounce and contort like rag dolls. 

Vehicle dynamics, meanwhile, 
are arcade all the way. Yes, you'll 
lean into corners and "waggle" 
when on the bitter edge, but you'll 
often feel that you're riding on a 
cushion of air, struggling to keep 
your loose-handling bullet within 
the parameters of each course. 

Half Baked 

Unfortunately, I didn't have a 
chance to check out the 
promised 8-player 
REDLINE Internet feature, 
as game distributor Ubi 
Soft was still working on 
a patch for its game ser- 
vice at press time. 

Had REDLINE RACER 
been released a year and 
a half ago, my analysis 
may have been more 
favorable. But it wasn't, 
and that leaves this bike 
racer a mid-pack runner 
at best. LK'itcj 



DON'T BLINK This mid-pack group 
blazes through blurred scenery that 
only adds to the staggering sense of 
speed. 



rOMPUTER GAMING WORLD « DECEMBER 199B 


v.computergaming.com 







uete at the 
Driving Range 

1 Play “extreme' 
I golf on the 
haunted Mojo 
Bay Course 

goaded With cheal 
pranks ^ 


Experience Deathmatch 
Golf on the Dimension 
X battlefield 


Attitude! 


www.AccessSoftware.com 


Go to #076 @ www.computergaming.com/infolink 















UlL 


■'ll 



COmPLETE WITH 16 REmOTE CORTflOL ERRS HRD 15 PULSE-POUnOIRG TRACKS. THIS GRfTlE LETS VOU OODGE. WERVE. RRD SOAR 
THROUGH RICK TROPICRL JURGLES. SUR ORERCHED 8ERCHES. RRD RIURKV SWRRIPS. EVER IF VOU DOR'T FEEL LIKE RRCIRG. THERE 
ARE DOZERS OF HIDDER PATHS RRD SECRET FEATURES FOR VOU TO EXPLORE. RLORE. WITH R FAIERD. OR RGAIRST THE COR1PUTER. 
THIS GRmC WILL SERD VOU THROUGH DOZERS OF COURSES • - ROT BATTERIES. 


RVHiLneLC on WIRDOWS" CO-ROm rho PLAVSTATIOR" orire cansoLE. 


01996 Gremlin Interactive UrI. Licensed from and developed Py Gremlin Interactive Ltd. All Rights Reserved. £>1998 Twentieth Century 
Fox Film Corporation, Inc. All flights fleserved. Twentielh Century Fox: "Fox " and their associated logos are the property of Twentieth 
Century Fox Film Corporation. PlayStation and ilie PlaySiation logos are regislererl Iradematxs ol Sony Computer Entertainment Inc 


r< 

iGremlinl 




PlnyStoiian 


Go to #1 21 @ www.computergaming.com/infolink 

WWW.FOXinTERRCTIVE.com 





REVIEW • TIGER WOODS 99 


Tiger in the Rough 

Tiger's PC Round Livens Up the PGA TOUR Franchise — but It's No LINKS 



by Scott May 

F or years. EA Sports' 
underrated PGA TOUR 
GOLF has quietly held its 
ground in the shadow of 
heavy hitters like LINKS 
LS and JACK NICKLAUS 
GOLF. Now EA takes a 
Tiger by the tail and turns 


APPEAL Any 
digital duffer. 

PROS: Lush 3D 
graphics; Flash 
Draw soeen 
updates; good 
expansion- 
course support; 
supports older PGA TOUR courses. 

CONS: Tedious menu design; some 
graphic glitches; no lefty options; an 
overdose of "Tiger" options. 
DIFFICULTY; Intermediate. 

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: Pentium 
133, Windows 95/98, 32MB RAM, 

1 00MB hard-drive space, 1 MB PCI video 
card, 4x CD-ROM drive. 

MULTIPLAYER SUPPORT; Internet 
(1-4 players), LAN (2-4 players) and 
modem (2 players); 1 CD per player. 

3D SUPPORT: 3Dfi<, DirectBD-compatible 

Price: S39.99 

Publisher: EA Sports 

San Mateo. CA 

(800) <148-8822 


this venerable series on its ear 
with TIGER WOODS 99. A deft 
blend of golf sim and arcade 
flash, this game has muscle and 
attitude to spare. 

It doesn't take a marketing 
genius to understand EA's eupho- 
ria in bagging Tiger Woods' first 
gaming endorsement. The hot- 
shot young star of the PGA circuit 
is perhaps the best role model 
this particular sport has ever 
seen. So it's not surprising that a 
game cast in his image is fast, 
lively, and even 
inspirational. 

A Course 
Is a Course 

The game comes 
with three 18-hole 
courses — Pebble 
Beach Golf Links, 

TPC at Sawgrass, 
and TPC at 
Summerlin — with 
additional course 
disks already avail- 
able, including Bay 
Hill Club, South- 
wind, Las Colinas, 

Scottdales, Cog Hill, 
and Colonial 
Country Club. But 
here's the real kick- 
er: EA Sports has 
rewarded loyal PGA 
TOUR fans by 


including a utility that imports — 
and converts to 3D — any courses 
from the following titles: PGA 
TOUR 96 FOR WINDOWS, PGA TOUR 
PRO, PGA TOUR GOLD, CLASSIC 
COURSES CD, SPANISH BAY course 
disc, and PGA TOUR LAPTOP. You 
can even export TIGER WOODS 99 
and its add-on courses to the 
above-mentioned games (with the 
exception of PGA TOUR 96 FOR 
WINDOWS). 

Nine game modes give players 
plenty of variety. The modes 
include practice, stroke, tourna- 
ment, skins, shoot-out, match play, 
foursomes, fourball, and driving 
range. Players can hit the greens 
competing as (or against) Tiger or 
one of seven other PGA champs: 
Mark O'Meara. Lee Janzen, Peter 
Jacobsen, Tom Kite, Craig Sadier, 
Brad Faxton, and Davis Love III. 
Sorry, ladies, you're stuck with a 
lone generic female golfer named 
Cindy. You can also create a cus- 
tom player profile that mirrors 
your own real-life attributes — if 
that's your idea of fun. 


The game's graphics engine has 
been totally revamped from the 
last PGA TOUR outing, and it now 
supports both hardware- and soft- 
ware-accelerated 3D video. By far 
the biggest improvement is EA's 
proprietary Flash Draw technology, 
which renders each shot on the 
fly — and 1 mean that literally. The 
game camera follows the ball in 
flight, then swings immediately 
around for the next shot. No wait- 
ing. The result is a more immersive 
style of play than PC golfers have 
ever played. 

In 2D mode, the high-res 
graphics are quite good; in 3D 
mode they're even better. My 
only complaint is with the 
blotchy background objects. 

Close up, they just don't "fit" 
with the realistically rendered 
foregrounds and stunning sky 
effects. Worst of all are the dorks 
in the gallery, who increase in 
number the better you play. 

TIGER WOODS 99 handles ani- 
mations quite well, using digitally 
captured versions of Tiger and his 




GOOD FOLLOW-THROUGH In addition to the nine courses already available in 
the game, you can also convert older PGA Tour Golf courses for play with 
TIGER WOODS 99. 


COMPUTER 

GAMING 


..WORLD 





COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


/.computerg.inilngx 





TtCER WOODS 99 • REVIEW 


1 



TIGER STRIPES Smack a Tiger Shot and you'll know: Tiger's body 
electrifies and the ball explodes on contact with the club head. It's 
one of the game's few arcade flourishes. 


contemporaries. We even get 
some signature Tiger emotions, 
such as his fist pump and “raise 
the roof" antics that follow good 
shots. He even releases his right 
hand on the follow-through after 
a particularly bad shot. 

One disconcerting note about 
graphics: The initial release of TIGER 
WOODS, designed for DirectX5.2, 
appears to have a problem with 
DirectX6. On my rig, a Pentium 233 
MMX with an ATI Xpert 98 primary 
display and Diamond Monster 3D II 
secondary display, the game ran 
great using 3D acceleration — until I 
installed DirectX6. After that, the 
course screens were horribly gar- 
bled. The only workable solution, 
beyond dumping DirectX6, was to 
turn off hardware acceleration 
within the game's options menu, 
but even this produced some video 
corruption, presumably associated 
with D3D 6.0 software rendering. 

At the time of this writing, EA's 
tech support had not yet addressed 
this issue. 

Tiger Beat 

The game's on-course interface 
rivals that of LINKS LS for clean, 
unobtrusive design. In fact, every- 
thing you need to know is con- 
tained within the high-tech swing 
meter: wind speed and direction, 
club selection, distance to the pin, 
height of the pin relative to your 


ball, risk meter, ball lie, and 
adjustments for fade, draw, and 
backspin. Two types of club 
swings are available: old-fash- 
ioned twitch-and-click and ana- 
log Pro Swing, EA's attempt to 
create a natural, mouse-motion 
swing. I think most players will 
opt for Pro Swing, because it 
offers greater control and better 
accuracy, particularly on chip 
shots and putting. 

One cool feature is the Tiger 
Zone — the nickname given to 
the swing meter's overpower 
area. Traditionally, any back- 
swing allowed to extend past 
the overpower mark resulted in 
a wild, unpredictable shot. Here, 
expert use of the Tiger Zone 
(modeled after Woods' real-life 
tendency to overpower his drives) 
can be quite beneficial. Players 
who can backswing into the Tiger 
Zone, then hit the bottom aiming 
mark dead-on, are rewarded with 
an echo-laden voice that booms. 
"Tiger Shot!' Tiger's on-screen 
character flashes with elearicity 
and the ball explodes on contact 
with the dub. Sure, it's a arcade- 
style gimmick — but it's fun. 

Speaking of the Tiger Zone, 
though, the game is overloaded 
with cutesy-poo Tiger Talk, EA 
milks its beloved franchise for all 
it's worth with feature names like 
Tiger Vision, Tiger Charge, Tiger 


Tips, Tiger Shots, and, you guessed 
it. Tiger Toons. If the game weren't 
so good, it might be enough to 
make me Tiger Puke. 

That said, most of these 
Tigerisms are actually viable 
gameplay features. Tiger Tips ran- 
domly appear during stroke and 
practice play, offering professional 
advice. Tiger Vision lets you 
choose between aggressive and 
safe shots, and Tiger Charge gives 
the computer-controlled Tiger an 
extra Al boost after a birdie, 
eagle, or monster drive. 

Some other minor quibbies 
include tedious pre-game menus 


that force you to jump through 
numerous hoops and sub-menus 
to set options before finally hit- 
ting the greens. (Fans familiar 
with other recent menu-happy EA 
Sports titles know what a pain 
this can be.) The printed game 
manual is actually better than 
we've come to expect from EA, 
but it's still a gray, colorless read, 
augmented with online help and 
a browser-enabled Play Guide 
that took me a good 30 minutes 
to get working. I suspect EA has a 
lot of patching to do here. Luckily, 
the game features a built-in 
Internet update utility. 

Multiplayer support is well 
represented, as you might expect. 
Internet play is free and features 
both voice and text chat to “heck- 
le" (EA's term) your opponents. 
First rule of golf: Don't heckle 
someone holding a 9 iron unless 
you're on the Internet, where 
sportsmanship doesn't apply. 
Rudeness aside, this is a great 
game for remote play, be it over 
the Internet, a LAN, or a direct 
modem link. 

Back to the Clubhouse 

All in all, TIGER WOODS 99 is a 
solid continuation of EA Sports' 
great PGA TOUR GOLF series. It's 
challenging but not difficult, fun 
but not silly. Once EA irons out all 
the wrinkles, this should be a 
contender. 



COMPUTER GAMING WORLD • DECEMBER 1998 


ilk 


v.computcrgaming.( 


SPEED LIMIT ENFORCED BY AIRCRAFT 




Environmental 

Audio'* 

bv CREATIVE* 



3D acceleration not required 


Need toi Speed. Eteclronie Arts and llie Electronic Ails logo are trademarks oi reglstoied liademarks ul Eleclionic Ails In Itie U.S. aiid/oi other counliies. All rights received. Scllwaie oopyiiglil © 1993 Electronic Arts. All rights reserved. Auloniobili 
Ferrari 550 Maianeiio distinctive design aie trademarks ol Feriari S.p.A, Corvelio Is a General Motois Tiademaik used undei license lo Electronic Ails Inc. SOI* © 1998 3Dfx Inleraclive, Inc. The 3Dlx Interactive logo is a irademaik ol 3Di* inieractive. Inc. 



One minute you 're running down speeders in a 
Lamborghini Diablo cop car. The next you're 
Hying down the treeway in one ol ten exotic 
supercars. Because out on these roads, every- 
body obeys a higher law. The law of velocity. 


LamDoighini. Diablo SV. Coontach 25lh and all associaled logos aie liadcniailis ot Aulomobill Lamboigtiliii S.p.A. feiiaii SSO Maianello. all associated logos and tbe 

Go to #226 @ www.computergaming.com/infolink 



vnnrafMTT niifjM 




Arcade Racing with 
a Defined Strategy 

21 Real-te-life American 
Hack Gonfiguraaons 

Shocking interactive 
AnimaUons 


Free Internet 
Game Service 


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Your Choice. Your Speed. Nevember 1998 ! 


® 1998 Util Sott. AH rigtiis resaned. All other trademarks are the proaenv of their resdecUve holders. 
® 1998 3Dtx Interactive, Inc. The 3 DIk InleracUue logo is trademark of 3DfK inieraciive. inc. 

In the USA and in other select countries. All rights reserved. 



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REVIEW • GOLDEN TEE GOLF 


Smashmouth Golf 


Coin-op Mega-hit Makes a Surprisingly Great PC Debut 



by Scott May 

I love computer golf, but I 
have to admit, some golf 
sims take themselves far 
too seriously. Designers are 
so caught up in a high-tech 
war of 3D graphic engines 
and ultra-realistic ball 
physics that they forget to 
have fun. And that's what golf is 
all about. 

That's why I welcome games 
like GOLDEN TEE GOLF. This is the 
most fun I've had on digital greens 
since Access Software's original 8- 
bit LEADERBOARD GOLF. GOLDEN 

Tee's pc version is based on 
Incredible Technologies' own 1995 
coin-op smash, PETER JACOBSEN'S 
GOLDEN TEE 3D GOLF, which 
ranked among the top five arcade 
games for more than two years. In 
just a few short rounds, you'il 
understand why. 

1 

GAMiMS 




APPEAL 

Arcade-styie 
golf fans. 

PROS: Fast 
fun game- 
play; failiiful 
adaptation of 
coin-op 
smash; out- 
standing sola multiplayer, and recorded 
play options; TrackSwing is a gas. 

CONS: No course construction sec 
graphics beg for 3D acceleration. 
DIFFJCULTY: Easy. 

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: Pentium 
90, Windows 95, t6MB RAM, 90MB 
hard-drive space, 4x CD-ROM drive. 
MULT1PUYER SUPPORT: LAN and 
Internet (2-4 players), modem and serial 
{2 players); 1 CD per player. 

3D SUPPORT: None. 

Price: S29.99 

Publisher: Irrcredible Technologies Inc. 

Rolling Meadows, IL 
(847) 870.7027 


v.itsgames.com 


GOLDEN TEE is to golf sims what 
Sierra's 3D ULTRA PINBALL is to pin- 
ball sims. In other words, don't 
expect a lot of realism. Everything 
is either over-simplified or wildly 
exaggerated. Where else can you 
knock in a 60-foot putt your first 
time out, or bag a double eagle 
without breaking a sweat? The 
best comparison I can make would 
be with Sony's outrageously enjoy- 
able HOT SHOTS GOLF on the 
PlayStation. 

LINKS, It Ain't 

What GOLDEN TEE lacks in real- 
ism it makes up for with pure, 
unabashed fun, The PC translation 
is a dead-on clone of the coin-op 
version, enhanced with multiplayer 
support, recorded play, and voice 
chat. True to its arcade roots, the 
game is so easy to play, even bare 
beginners will be up and swinging 
like pros within a few minutes. 
Believe it or not, such simplicity is 
key to the game's long-term 
appeal. Average players can pound 
out 18 holes in 30 minutes or less. 
The real trick is limiting yourself to 
just 18 holes. 

Tlie game's physics model is 
loose, to say the least, but can be 
easily tightened up in the options 
menu as your experience grows. 
Three fantasy courses are available, 
with additional links available 
soon — perhaps by the time you 
read this. That's great, but why not 
cut to the chase and release a 
course-construction kit instead? In 
all honesty, the course graphics 
here are colorful and fun, but 
they're nothing to send TIGER 
WOODS 99 or LINKS LS running 
back to the drawing board. 

The course graphics in GOLDEN 
TEE drip fantasy cut-and-pasie: 
Weird archipelagoes and oddly 
mixed foliage line some fairways. 
Objects like cactus and boulders 
stand like monoliths, absurdly 
out of proportion, making some 


terrain look like bizarre sets from 
TV's Lost in Space. 

Reinventing 
the Trackball 

In the coin-op version, players 
control the club swing using a 
trackball. Sounds goofy, but it real- 
ly works well. In the PC version, IT 
developed something called 
Trackswing, which recreates the 
trackball mechanics using a mouse. 
Players first pull back the mouse to 
initiate the backswing, which 
moves the distance bar in the over- 
head window. Next, simply push 
forward to complete the swing and 
hit the ball, To hook or slice, push 
forward with a right- or left-hand 
curve. The motion feels natural and 


delivers a nice little tactile "hit" 
upon contact with the ball. 

Many other publishers are 
trying to reinvent the computer 
mouse swing, but TrackSwing 
stands out as a model of simplicity 
and execution. If you own a track- 
ball, it works even better. 

Other goodies include auto-save 
highlights, a Greatest Shots Club, 
and hilarious voice-overs that 
spout encouragements like, "You 
are the greatest!" in an earnestly 
dopey, Greg Brady kind of way. Ya 
gotta love it. 

It's been ages since I've played 
a golf game as fun and addictive 
as GOLDEN TEE GOLF. Who needs 
realism when you've got game- 
play this hot? 




COMPUTER GAMING WORLD « DECEMBER 1998 


^.roiiipiJtpr(>aming.< 









“Chessmaster 6000 is truly impressive. It’s comfortable, fun, instructive 
and a competitive outlet for all ages and skill levels. But most importantly, 
Chessmaster will teach you about the human side of the game... how to 
grow within the beauty of this great art form.” 


Josh Waitzkin, International Chess Master 
Go to #193 @ www.computergaming.com/lnfollnk 




REVIEW • COMMANDOS: BEHIND ENEMY LINES 


Not So Special Forces 

The Soldiers in COMMANDOS Are More Puzzle Pieces Than Fighters 


H 


by Tim Carter 

I as the seemingly end- 
less deluge of unorigi- 
nal, cookie-cutter real- 
time strategy games got 
you down? Are you feel- 
ing like it's time for 
something different? 
COMMANDOS: BEHIND 
ENEMY LINES from Eidos Interaaive 
is unquestionably one of the most 
different games to hit either the 
strategy or action markets over the 
last few years. Of course, difference 
comes with a price. 

In COMMANDOS, you follow a 
24-scenario campaign that begins 
in 1 941 and lasts throughout the 
war in Europe. The Germans control 
the continent, and it's your job to 
conduct small but significant raids 
to tie down troops, keep morale up 
at home, and facilitate victory in 
the great battles to come. 


computer' 1 

GAMII^ 




APPEAL: Gamers 
more interested in 
puzzles than in 
real, squad-level 
strategy. 

raos: Slick, dif- 
ferent, and innov- 
ative; highly satis- 
fying when you do 
things right. 

CONS: Frequently frustrating, requiring 
multiple attempts to get most tilings 
right troops won't defend themselves 
unless so ordered; prone to crash. 
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate. 
REQUIREMENTS: Windows 95/98, 
16MB RAM, 150MB hard-drive space, 4x 
CD-ROM drive, DirectX 5.2-compatible 
sound and video cards, 

3D SUPPORT: None. 

MULTIPLAYER SUPPORT: LAN or 
Mplayer (2-6 players); 1 CD per player. 
Price: $49 

Publisher: Eidos loieracllve 
San Francisco. CA 
(415) 547-1200 


v.eldosinteractive.c 





Commander in Chief 

COMMANDOS features a third- 
person, isometric view and gives 
you a limited set of commands for 
directing your strike team. While 
many of these orders are individu- 
alized to particular soldiers, your 
team never exceeds seven people, 
so these commands are quite man- 
ageable. That's good since the 
orders you give comprise the heart 
of the game. 

Played in realtime. COMMANDOS 
also offers a set of fairly unique 
challenges — running around killing 
everything in sight just won't cut it 
here. This game emphasizes stealth 
over firepower and puts realistic 
limits on the amount of damage 
your men can take. In other words, 
they die easily. Racking up a large 
body count doesn't affect your 
score, which should delight purists 
who will measure their personal 
success by how few Germans they 
kill while obtaining their objectives. 

A Questionable Mission 

There's no question that Eidos is 
breaking new ground. Yet with 
newness often comes a flaw or two 
and, sadly, that is the case here. 


My version had a few problems 
with Windows 95 and demonstrat- 
ed a nasty tendency to shut down 
arbitrarily toward the end of each 
mission. But then, so does my 
word processor. Still, that sort of 
thing is disconcerting. 

Clearly, the designers want 
gamers to use stealth instead of 
force. Your troops are lightly armed 
and highly vulnerable, forcing you 
to plan around, rather than steam- 
roll, the enemy. You'll spend a lot 
of time observing patrolling guards 
and then evading them. If you take 


over a machine gun post or cap- 
ture a tank, you may be able to 
shoot it. (Yes, vehicles play an 
important role in many missions 
and may be used by your troops to 
good effect.) But otherwise secrecy 
is the name of the game. 

Surprisingly enough, the rela- 
tionship between planning and 
execution in COMMANDOS detracts 
somewhat from gameplay. Given 
your highly specific resources, each 
mission becomes an elaborate 
problem-solving enterprise. And, 
while there is usually more than 
one way to solve each puzzle, 
there are also a lot of wrong ways 
to go about it. 

Generally, if you fail to solve the 
puzzle properly, you have to reload 
a saved game and tty again. You 
can't win a mission if any of your 
people die, and you often can’t win 
if an alarm is triggered. Thus, a typ- 
ical routine might go something 
like this: Try something, fail, reload; 
try something else, fail, reload, 

Because timing is also impor- 
tant, you may figure out what you 
want your soldiers to do and still 
have to try two or three times 
before you succeed. This can be 
annoying, particularly when the 
problem is complicated and many 
elements of it (that is, German 
soldiers) are moving in different 
directions 
simultaneously. 

On the other 
hand, the inher- 
ent difficulty 
that's built into 
the game makes 
each solution 
remarkably sat- 
isfying. I only 
wish that failure 
was not so, well, 
terminal. Also, 
the quick reload 
function that 
comes up with 
the failure 


li^ COMPUTER GAMING WORLD « DECEMBER 1998 


k'.compulergamlng.< 







COMMANDOS: BEHIND ENEMY LINES • REVIEW 


Your Troops 


Your unit pool contains six regular commandos (and a potential 
‘’guest"). Each has different abiirties and spedaiized weapons. 


(Green Beret) 

Okay, so 


(Sniper) 



diere was no 
sudi thing as 
a Green Beret 
in 1941, and 
probably not 



Equipped 
with easily 
the silliest 
accent in a 
game rife 
with silly 


too many Americans in the 
British Special Forces before (or 
after) Pearl Harboc but why 
quibble. As your alNaround thug, 
Tiny can cany and hide bodies, . 
hide in the snow, and is most 
useful with a knife. 


accents, your sniper has a limited 
number of shots for a long- 
range, silenced rifle. Very use- 
ful— until the bullets run out 


(Spsf) 



An infiltration 
agent who 
can also dis- 
tract guards ' 
and quickly 
reduce the 



(Engineer) 

An all- 
purpose 
desnolitlon 
man, Inferno 
is, obviously, 
good at blow- 


ing up things. His bear trap is also 
important for reducing the odds 
in ambushes or gunfights. 


odds when sneaking through 
those tough, interlinked defen- 
sive systems. ' 


(Marine) 


(Driver) 



The only 
commando 
vwth an auto- 
matic 


f 


Many scenar- 
ios involve 
water, and 
most allow 
you to use 
your Marine to 


weapon, 
Tread can 


drive most vehicles, including 
tanks and fixed-fire weapons. If 
you elect to (or are forced to) 
shoot it out, Tread is your man. 


maximum advantage. Along with 
the usual underwater and boat- 
ing skids, Fins' spear gun is an 
ideal short-range silent kilter, 
allowing you to take out sentries 
from a distance with minimal 
risk and no noise. 


screen didn't work on my copy of 
the game, making the reload 
process somewhat tedious. 


Mixed Forces 

The graphics are well done, with 
flowing water, steam from train 
engines, and large explosions look- 
ing very nice indeed, Most com- 
mands can be given by mouse or 
hot-key, and when time is a factor 
the hotkey system makes a big dif- 
ference. For instance, you may 
need to tell your sniper to stand, 
aim, fire, then hit the deck all with- 
in a few seconds. 



KILLING HIM SOFTLY WITH YOUR GUN A high-powered scope 
lets your sniper remove sentries from long range, but be care- 
ful that no one sees it 


busy elsewhere, not because the 
soldier in question couldn't handle 
the situation. Perhaps even more 
annoying is that your troops won't 
get out of the way of oncoming 
traffic. There's nothing quite as 
frustrating as completing a highly 
complicated set of maneuvers to, 
say, blow up a dam, only to have 
two members of your group get 
run over by the escape truck on its 
way to pick them up. 

In addition, your troops rarely 
work together. They can move or 
shoot their pistols as a group, hut 
that's about the extent of it. I 
would have liked to be able to cus- 
tomize group action somehow to 
get better mileage out of some of 
the commandos' special attributes. 
Instead, you tend to move all of 
your troops to a safe location, then 
venture out with one (or perhaps 


two) to clear the path to the next 
safe haven. 

This is less of a problem in mul- 
tiplayer mode, when each soldier 
may be controlled individually. My 
biggest concern with a multiplayer 
game, however, is play balance. A 
hard puzzle for one player 
becomes much easier when it can 
be attacked from four or five direc- 
tions at once. 

Even with the frustration 
involved in playing COMMANDOS. I 
have to say I had fun with it. The 
aggravation caused by seeing one 
plan after another fail is more than 
compensated for by the satisfac- 
tion of finally getting it right. 
Ultimately, gamers' reactions will 
depend on what they were looking 
for from the game in the first 
place. If you want a shoot-em-up 
WWI! game or a set-piece strategy 
simulation. 


COMMANDOS comes with an 
adequate manual and a truly 
impressive tutorial sequence 
designed to get you up and run- 
ning quickly. Be warned, however, 
that your soldiers can't die in the 
tutorial, so some of the things you 
learn will be counterproductive 
once you're in the field. 

COMMANDOS also has a few 
annoying quirks that detract from 
gameplay. For instance, there is no 
way to autoprogram your troops, 
even to defend themselves. More 
than once, I lost a man to inquisi- 
tive German patrols because I was 



a 

i 


R GAMING WORLD • DECEMBER 1998 






REVIEW • DUNE 2000 


The Worm Turns 

An Updated Classic Follows C&C's Tracks In the Sand 


by Pete Scisco 

1 ans of Frank Herbert's 
science-fiction classic 
Dune {as well as fans of 
I Westwood Studio's 
groundbreaking DUNE II 
strategy game from 
several years back) might 
well have something to 
look forward to with this remake. If 
that sounds like a lukewarm recep- 
tion, then understand that DUNE 
2000 basically adds cosmetic 
changes to DUNE II. It must be 
said, however, that these changes 
make the game deeper and more 
enjoyable, especially in the area of 
multiplayer support. 


F 


Family Feud 

Dune readers will recognize the 
Harkonnen and Atriedes forces. The 
political, economic, and military 


compc/tbr' 1 




APPEAU Fans of 
the book who 
haven't played 
many real-time 
strategy games. 

PROS: Cool 
wornis that gobble 
up soldiers: easy- 
to-use interface. 

CONS: Al model 
courtesy of Forrest Gump; can't play 
campaign as Dune Fremen; been here, 
done that. 

DIFFICULTY LEVEL Intermediate. 
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: Pentium 
1 33, Windows 95/98, 1 6MB RAM. 60M8 
hard-drive space, 4x CD-ROM, 1 6-bit 
color video card with 1 MB of VRAM, 
Sound Blaster-compatible sound card. 
3D SUPPORT: None. 

MULTIPLAYER SUPPORTS LAN (2-6 
players), Internet (2-4 players), modem 
(2 players); 1 CD per game. 



Price: $44,99 

Publisher: Westwood Studios 
Las Vegas, NV 
(888) 212-1702 


'.westwood. 



SAND & CONQUER DUNE 2000 has improved upon the original 
with multiplayer matches like this one, but gameplay is essen* 
tially COMMAND & CONQUER on nothing but sand maps. 


conflicts between those two 
houses create the overarching 
framework for the story of Paul 
Atriedes and his rise as emperor. 
The game's third adversary, the 
House of Ordos, appears as a cross 
between the Borgs and Ferengi of 
the Star Trek series — smugglers 
without pity or remorse. Players 
can play campaigns as any of the 
three factions, 

COMMAND & CONQUER players 
will recognize the "build, harvest, 
protect, destroy" mantra that 
informs most popular real-time 
strategy games. The game borrows 
heavily from COMMAND & 
CONQUER in its presentation of 
more than two dozen missions. 

That's not to say, however, that 
DUNE 2000 is simply a replica of 


COMMAND & CONQUER with dif- 
ferent pictures. There are some 
touches that help define the 
game's Dune setting. For exam- 
ple, when building, you must first 
place concrete slabs on the sandy 
surface to form a foundation for 
munitions factories, power gener- 
ators, refineries, and the like. This 
isn't a requirement, but without 
the foundation your buildings will 
need constant monitoring and 
repair as the harsh Dune environ- 
ment works against them, I have 
one tiny quibble; Slabs can't be 
rotated to fit the available space. 


The best Dune aspect comes in 
the form of giant sandworms, 
which can swallow entire vehi- 
cles, including 
large units such 
as harvesters and 
tanks. Worms are 
attracted to 
vibrations in the 
ground and can 
turn up when 
you try to move 
troops into posi- 
tion. To avoid the 
worms, listen for 
the spoken warn- 
ing of "worm 
sign," then get 
your forces to 
the safety of rocky islands set out 
along the sand. 

Cut-scenes and some introduc- 
tory materials set the scene, but 
the brief footage adds little to the 
playing experience. The game's 
plot has you smuggled onto Dune 
with the assistance of the Bene 
Gesserit — a sisterhood of seers 
and visionaries who serve as con- 
cubines and soothsayers to the rul- 
ing classes, while all the time 
seeking to control fate from 
behind the scenes. Thankfully, 
though the clips don't add much 
to the game's universe, at least 


players are spared the canned 
ham of COMMAND & CONQUER. 

Atriedes Anonymous 

It doesn't quite make sense that 
gamers must take the role of some 
no-name recruit when it would 
have been more interesting to play 
the role of Paul Atriedes or that of 
the Harkonnen Baron. Also, why 
aren't players given the chance to 
play on the side of the Fremen, the 
nomadic indigenous peoples of 
Dune who play a pivotal role in the 
novel? (Fremen forces are some- 
times available as Atriedes' allies.) 

Including the Fremen as a force 
would have given players radical- 
ly different resource options. 
Besides mining spice, the Fremen 
must manage their water on the 
desert planet. Best of all, they 
ride the giant worms to become 
warriors. It's hard to imagine a 
more unique scenario than 
attacking a Harkonnen enclave 
with a battalion of worm riders. 

As it stands, DUNE 2000 may 
attract fans of the book who are 
new to real-time strategy games. 
But experienced gamers, especially 
those who came up through the 
ranks of C&C and RED ALERT, 
won't quench their thirst for new 
action in this title, L'C'iAJ 



LAND SHARK There's nothing funny about 
the huge, unit*inunching sandworms lurking 
beneath the planet's surface. Here's a tip — 
stay away from the worms. 


k COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » OECEAABER 1998 


iputefgaming.com 





Special Advertising Section 




"a mobster sim" 


VEHIAKT 


N o longer known simply for 
the Tomb Raider series, 
Eidos Interactive has a top 
-notch strategy line-up doming this 
fall and next spring, ^mong them, 
one on the best-^tegy titles of 
the fall - Commandos^Behind 

Gaming 
different, 

and Gamecenter says 
"Commandos is a g[reat' 
game!" 


Eidos's upcoming strategy 
line-up includes thr-ee unique 
titles: Gangsters: Organized 

-4 i 

Crime, Bravelieart, and 
Warzone' 2100. The fpllowing 
pages contain some tidbits on 
these three games, from start- 
up strategi|^ and interviews, to 
game design overviews. For more 
detailed information about any of 
the titles, go to the Eidos 
Interactive web site at 
wvvw.eidosinteractive.com. 


EIDOS INTG 
ttesnure 





eiD03 



ADVERTORIAL 



PROFILE AND INTERVIEW ON • GANSTERS 


www.eldesinteractlve.com 


What does it take to 
become a mob boss! 




You have to be willing to 
(heat, lie and steal with 
a smile. In the world of 
Gangsters you have the 
opportunity to do this 
and more. But before 
you enter into the den 
of illegal under dealings 
you need some pointers 
on making it wHhout 
getting rubbed out 


time selea the nearest "Gyms". 
After the first week of your opera- 
tion you should have some new tal- 
ent for more teams in your organi- 
zation. Strength in numbers is 
always a good thing but remember 
you have to pay these mugs so 
don't spend more dough than you 
can steal. 


"Before going out on the streets 
you're going to need some 
heaters. Make sure all of your 
hoods got something to shoot 
with because ^e law is always 
getting in the way." 


Weapons 

Clicking on the weapons button 
opens the list of firearms and 
explosives you possess on the right 
side of the page, and also display 
the firearms and explosives held by 
the lieutenant on the left side. 
Knives and baseball bats are never 
shown: These weapons are used by 
your hoods for close combat, and 
are supplied by the hoods them- 
selves. You only have to concern 
yourself with their firearms and 
explosives. 


Bombing a rival Is not to be taken lightly. 

you don't try to extort too much 
because your hoods may not have 
enough time. Greed only pays if 
you have enough time, 


button, at the bottom right of the 
clipboard to display the business 
types. Type “Pool Hall", and then 
click on the nearest blocks high- 
__ lighted. Click on the 
thumbs up to confirm 
HObl the order. Do the same 
order again, but this 


"Hey it cost money to run an 
illegal operation. You don't 
have any? Well extort it out 
from other businesses. What 
are neighbors for?" 


"You don't have the man- 
power to do a job? You want 
to whack one of your lieu- 
tenants because he's not 
doing his job but you can't 
because you don't have any- 
one to replace him? It's time 
to recruit some new blood but 
you have to know where to 
look first." 


ixtortina 

Select the Lieutenant responsible 
for extortion. A number of blocks 
on the map turn blue. This is a tem- 
porary measure that denotes all the 
commercial blocks in the city. Click 
on and highlight in red the blocks 
you want to extort money from but 


hwhiSnBiMi 


Recruiting 

Select the Lieutenant allocated to 
"Security". Click on the second 
button in the left insert, labeled 
"Personnel", then select the fifth 
icon, labeled 'Recruit*. A new job- 
card appears, with the name of this 
Lieutenant's name, and the order 
"Recruit". 


Hoods are usually recruited from 
gyms or pool halls. There is no 
overlay for these, so you need to 
open the clipboard. This button for 
this is halfway down the left 
insert. Click on the businesses 


The police can work both for and against you. 


Special Advertising Section 




PROFILE AND INTERVIEW ON • GANSTERS 



REQUIREMENTS 


may well become an every day affair 

Buying Extra 
Weapons 

There are six weapon types 
displayed on the right: 

0^rvr' Twin pack pistols. 

Tommy Gun. 

^^rrr- nine. 

Shotgun. 

Pistol. 

Explosives. 

If you find that you require addi- 
tional firearms or more explosives, 
these must be purchased. Irt order 
to purchase more weaponry; click 
on the button at the bottom right. 
This changes the right page into the 
Black Market Screen, where you can 
buy more weapons as you see fit, 
The Black Market Screen contains 
the six types of weaponry, on a 
page tom out of a catalogue. To buy 
a new firearm or bundle of explo- 
sives, simply click on the weapon 


type to be purchased. Clicking on a 
weapon causes both the weapon 
selected to be highlighted, and your 
money clip to appear. The money 
clip displays the cost of the 
weapon, and the total amount of 


which is always 50% of the price 
you paid for it. Subsequent clicking 
on the button, or the tick on the 
money clip, causes one piece of the 
selected weapon type to be sold 
and removed from the displayed 
lieutenant. The money is automati- 
cally added from your balance. 

Now you're armed and ready for 
business, Lay low for the first cou- 
ple of weeks and stake out your 
turf but remember there's always 
some punk hood who wants to 
muscle in for a piece of your action. 


Slew and methodical 
Is the read paved 
with gold. 

When you first start your crime 
syndicate, you should be slow and 
careful in the crimes you plan. Any 
arrests made by the police can 
cripple you, forcing you into early 
retirement. You should start off 
with simple crimes with a low 
arrest rate, like extortion. Don't go 
for the bombings or assassinations 
right off the bat. Although you 
have the option of ordering a hit 
on the Mayor of the city at the 
beginning of the game, doing so is 
a very bad idea. All It will do is 
bring the Fed's attention to your- 
self and allow your rivals to gain 
an upper hand. 


• 100% compatible 
Windows 95 and DirectX 
5.0 system 

• Pentium 133 or 
better 

• 16MB RAM 

• SVGA video card 

• DirectX 5.0 (supplied) 

• DirectX 5.0 compatible 
sound card 

• Mouse 


Remember, the flashy and more 
newsworthy the crime, the worse 
off you are trying to pull it off 
before your syndicate is off the 
ground. Take it easy, Godfather, 
good things come to those who 
wait. 



To sell weapons back, simply click 
on the button alongside the 
weapon type to be sold, which 
appears underneath the lieutenant. 
The money clip changes, to show 
the resale cost of the weapon. 


Special Advertising Section 


Go to #149 @ vwvw.computergaming.com/lnfolink 


If you are not careful, seeing one of your lieutenants face down In the street 
may well become an every day affair 


money you have. Subsequent click- 
ing on the tick on the money dip 
causes one piece of the selected 
weapon type to be purchased and 
given to the displayed lieutenant. 
The money is automatically deduct- 
ed from your balance. 


Enter into a virtual world with o 
5,000 cUlsens. 


ADVERTORIAL 





B RAVE H EART 


i 





The 3D combat world features skinned and boned characters with high polygon counts. 


g^oZ/oin in the footsteps of Scottish 
n hero William Wallace, taking on 
\ the might of the English army to 
gain your freedom! Braveheart combines 
real-time MULTIPLAYER strategy 
with global management in a brutal 
reenactmen t of the war betiveen 
sword-wielding Scottish clansmen 
and expansionist English forces. 


The English are unpredictable enemies 
that are difficult to defeat. 

The game is being developed 
by Red Lemon Studios, a 
Glasgow based company 
which was formed early last 
year by six ex-employees of 
Gremlin Interactive. We 
spoke with Alex Rutter, 
Producer from Red Lemon to 
get the latest on Braveheart. 
Inspiration must be fairly 


close at home for this 
one, is this the game 
you've always wanted 
to do? 

When we came up 
with game concept 
we hadn't settled 
on 3 theme. Being 
patriotic Scots 
we ended up set- 
ting the game in 
13th Century 
Scotland. That was 
when the Braveheart 
connection was made. The 
movie stirs passion in all that 
watched it. Developing this 
game will hopefully give the player 
an opportunity relive the movie and 
change history. 

The game divides into strategic 
and action sections, what capa- 
bilities do you have in each? 


The general idea was to create an 
environment where the player could 
dictate his own destiny. So we cre- 
ated a free-form game system limit- 
ed only by the rules of the 13th 
century. The strategic management 
section drives the 3D-battle world. 
It's the 2D strategic world, where 
the player gets to devise his plans 
for conquest. In the 3D world is 
where he realistically plays them 
out. So at a strategic level the play- 
er can grow and fortify his bases 
while building and strengthen his 
armies. Political relations can be 
forged or broken. Armies can be 
commanded to glory or defeat. The 
player then changes mode from 
Clan chief to battlefield general as 
he takes to the field. With our 
battle engine you can control 
single individuals or whole 
armies in one mouse click. 


diplomacy 

affect play and how '^.' t 
do you use them 
to gain more support 
for your clan? 

Not all conquest is based on brute 
force, sometimes a timely diplo- 
matic envoy can appease a hostile 
neighbor. Before crucial decisions 
can be made spies must be dis- 
patched to gather vital tactical 
information about your neigh- 
bors. Scouts can give the 
play^eirftpry information 
and discover rich land 
resources, but spies must 
be used to infiltrate 
settlements to provide 
vital information 
regarding town defens- 
es and supplies. 


The strategic aspect 
seems more involved 
than the usual real 
time strategy fare, 
how do the dif- 
ferent missions 
like spying 
and 


How will combat 
be conducted on 
the battlefield, i.e. 
how will you sub- 
divide clansmen 
into interesting 



Special Advertising Section 



unit types and what will their 
abilities be? 

The army structure is defined in the 
2D strategic world that places 
emphasis on knowledge of the 
enemy that is being gathered before 
the battle. The general structure is 
simple an army Is divided into a 
maximum of ten units, A unit is 
basically a collection of similar 
soldiers to a maximum of 50. 
Tactical commands can be 
issued to units, where strate- 
gic commands are per- 
formed by whole armies. 
The player can issue basic 


commands on any select- 
ed characters. 




How will the use of 
formations affect combat. 
Please give specific details of 
the usefulness of a couple of 
formations? 

A good example of formation use 
was shown in the movie where a 
line of long spearsmen for all intent 
and purposes nullified a charge of 
cavalry. This will be fully supported 
in the game. Some of the other for- 
mations like wedge are good at 
penetrating lines of defenders. 
We've been given some direction 
on this by Seoras Wallace of the 
Clan Wallace Trust. Seoras is an 
authority on Scottish Battle tactics. 
He advised and directed the actors 
in the movie. He also backs our 
efforts. 


The 3D-world camera is extremely versatile. Here is a zoomed viewof close combat in 
the 13th century. 




I understand that leaders are 
very important in combat, and 
towns in the strategic section. 
What is their role in the game? 

Leaders are basically your hero fig- 
ures (William Wallace, Robert the 
Bruce etc). You need 
to have a leader to 
send an army on a 
mission. You also 
need a leader to act 
as a diplomatic 
envoy in the case of 
forming allegiances. 

Leaders are strong 
fighters in the com- 
bat section and 
sometimes used to 
assassinate other 
leader characters. If 
a leader dies then he 
is removed forever 
from the game. 

Leaders can be fickle 
^aracters that 
’Squire payment to 
maintain their ser- Several types 

vices. Only the most ^^iQiish come 

powerful clans can attract 
the best and loyal leaders. 

What about multiplayer 
modes? 

Braveheart multiplayer will allow up 
to 1 2 users to play via TCP/IP LAN 
and WAN, IPX LAN, and on the 
Mplayer gaming service. There will 
be three modes to the multiplayer 
game: Co-operative Campaign 
against the Computer, Human vs. 
Human Campaign, and Human vs. 
Human field of Combat game. 


also has a very in-depth resource 
management system that can be 
run on an automated setting for 
the hack and slay purists. On the 
battlefield all soldiers use a line of 
sight system and cannot react to 
combat situations with their knowl- 


of castles are modeled and can be created or slei 
calling. 

edge and weapon skill. We are cur- 
rently experimenting with an 
evolved learning system that allows 
computer controlled armies to react 
to variance in the players tactics. 
There will of course be general 


rules for soldier types versus others 
and the Al systems will take 
account of these also. 

Any bragging about the 
power of the graphics engine? 

Ok then. The 3D 
engine uses actual 
satellite data of 
the whole of the 
UK to fractally 
generate a realistic 
landscape. You can 
walk across the 
whole of Scotland 
if you wish. All the 
animations in 
game have been 
motion-captured to 
add even more 
realism. And the 
high poly count 
allows battle 
scenes that rival 
the movie in terms 
of number of peo- 
1 Here ihe ple. brutal realism 

and frenetic 
atmosphere. 

Anything else? 

It was a pretty influential film in 
the movie industry, and hopefully 
we can follow in its footsteps in 
terms the games community. 

Watch for 
Braveheart 
coming this 
spring from 


What are you planning in 
terms of Al features? 

There are sixty individual clans In 
the game, all with their own objec- 
tives and characteristics. The game 


Choose your leader wisely lo lead your 
clan to victory. 


Eidos Interactive 
and Red Lemon 
Studios. 


Special Advertising Section Goto#1S0 ® www.computergaming.com/lnfolink 


ADVERTORIAL 







is an amazingly detailed and 
graphically intense 3D action 
strategy game. The in-depth 
gameplay 
: features 400-t 
|; technologies to 
research, 

2000 + 

different units to design at 
your own will, a fully rotatable 
and zoomable 3D terrain, three 
large campaign maps to 
conquer, and 24 fast-play 
mission maps for extra action. 
Combine 
these 

features with 
a fast-play 
interface and 
a wide variety of multiplayer 
options and you've got one 
hell of a game! This is true 
strategy by design. 





PROFILE ON • WARZONE 2100 



STRATEGY BY DESIGN! 



A technical error in the 
satellite defense 
system sent nuclear 
warheads to 
Washington, Beijing and 
Moscow. Minutes later 
ground based sites fired in 
response to the launch. 
Millions died as nuclear 
firestorms wiped out the 
world's cities. Billions more 
died as plagues and 
epidemics swept away what 
remained of civilization. 

Less than a million people survived 
the collapse. Earth broke into 
hundreds of small scavenger bands 
battling each other for the 
remnants of the former civilization. 
Only a few had the vision to 
attempt to rebuild a new world 
from the ashes. What they didn't 
know was the entity responsible for 
the collapse was out there waiting 


for them.... 

Upon entering the post-nuclear 
world of Warzone 2100 you land 
from your transport and establish 
your base. Here you conduct 
research, design and manufacture 
vehicles, build new structures and 
prepare your plans of global 
conquest. 

The action takes place over three 
huge campaign maps consisting of 
the Western Desert, Urban 
Devastation, and the Rocky 
Mountain Breakdown. 

Each campaign features a large 
campaign map and six or more 
sub-maps. As key objectives are 
reached on the campaign map, 
missions are activated on the sub- 
maps. These missions are very 
varied from hit and run attacks to 
building structures to hold territory. 
The combat is fast and frantic with 
amazing graphical effects. Weapons 
range from bullets and lasers to 
explosive weapons that blast large 


areas of the highly detailed 3D 
battlefield. 

DESIGN YOUR 
STRATEGY! 

Vehicle design uses a simple mix 
and match selection of vehicle 
parts to create over 2000 
different vehicle types. Players can 
see the difference between vehicles 
as they design them and can 
experiment with different weapons, 
propulsions and bodies. Creating 
your own vehicles is key to your 
overall strategy, following is profile 
on each of the main vehicle types. 

MEDIUM TANKS 

As technology progresses new 
bodies become available with 
heavier armor and more efficient 
weapon systems. This medium tank 
is slower moving than the light 
vehicles, but packs heavier 
weapons and is more heavily 
armored. 


HEADY TANKS 

Heavy tanks carry huge weapons 
and are heavily armored. Expensive 
in power costs, they are produced 
slowly, but are hard to destroy. 
Heavy tanks form the main part of 
assault forces using their vast 
weight to crush all opposition. 

PROPULSION SYSTEMS 

These systems are used to make 
your forces as effective as possible. 
Once researched, a propulsion 
systems can be added to a unit 
that meet their specific mission 




Special Advertising Section 


Go to #152 @ www.computergaming.com/infolmk 


ADVERTORIAL 



PROFILE ON • WARZONE 2100 


needs. Coming in a wide variety of 
styles and toughness, a commander 
will never be at a loss when faced 
with varying terrain. Correct 
propulsion system choices are a 
commanders key to winning a 
battle. Some system examples are 
Hover Jets, VTOL, and Wheels. 

COMMANDERS 

Commanders lead other vehicles in 
battle. They are equipped with laser 
designators which allow them to 
nominate targets for an entire 
group. Commanders form a key 
part to the game. 

SENSOR VEHICLES 

These vehicles are equipped with 
powerful sensors that allow them 
to detect enemy units and 




structures that are outside the 
range of other vehicles. 

JAMMER VEHICLES 

Jammers block enemy sensors by 
reducing their range and power. 
They also make it harder for units 
within their range to be hit. 
Realistic line of sight hills and 
structures conceal enemy units 


while vehicles rely on sensors to 
detect enemies. You'll have to be 
sure to build radar towers 
to sweep areas for enemies. 

VTOL AnACK CRAFT 

Units may be fitted with a variety 
of propulsion systems. This VTOL 


“THIS IS 
TRUE 
STRATEGY 
RY DESIGN” 

Attack Craft is ideal for strafing 
enemy vehicles and flying close 
escort for land based units. 



• Multiplayer options include 
2-8 Players 

• Local Networks 

• mplayer.com 

• In Game Speech 
Transmissions between 
players 

• Play campaign games or 
fight in Death Match 
battles 

• Fully customizable 
set-ups 

• Select technology levels 

• Set power levels 

• Create and break 
alliances 

• Design your own custom 
force 

• Save out force rosters for 
future battles 

• League table showing 
victories and losses 


Category: Action/Strategy 
Developer: Pumpkin Studios 
Publisher: Eidos Interactive 
Release date: March 1999 


www.eidosinteractive.com 



Go to #152 @ www.computergaming.com/infoIink Special Advertising Section 



Artificial intelligence in games 
seems to on everyone's hotlisl 
What are your thoughts on Al? 

The Al is one of the most important 
aspects of any game and in Warzone 
2100, it was intended from the start of 
development that the Al would be 
robust, practical and sufficiently 
advanced to allow us to realize a game 
of Warzone's level of complexity. The 
term 'Al' has recently became a buzz- 
word of the game development commu- 
nity, yet it is rather carelessly and 
innapropriately used. Three of the pro- 
grammers here have honors degrees in 
Al, and this put us on a solid starting 
point from which to build some gen- 
uinely intelligent artificial behavior. 

Could we have some examples of 
some of the Al features in Warzone 
2100 ? 

Essentially, the basic Al that we started 
with was the best of absolutely 
everything that had ever been done 
before in the older {2D} action strategy 
game genre. From there, we went on to 
add many more features, the majority of 
which are unique to Warzone 2100 . For 
example, friendly units have various 
levels of Al that can be set by the player 
using the command console. These 
cover amongst other things: 
engagement ranges, retreat levels and 
attack priorities. These features are 
coupled in the game with sophisticated 
"commanders" which coordinate 
attacks by their group. Commanders 
also act as delivery points for factories 
so that regardless of how frantic things 
presently are, reinforcements arc always 
sent to exactly where the action is. 

What about enemy Al? 

Enemy Al is even more advanced; enemy 
scout groups assess the opposing threat 
before engaging or calling up an attack 
force. Enemy units break off from attack 
and move to the rear lines for repair 
and regrouping. Scout units can also call 
in artillery and air strikes. 

The enemy also actively seeks out 
resources on the map and aggressively 
defends them. Commanders arc used to 
coordinate attacks between the 
different arms of the enemy forces. 

Additional features cover counter 
battery fire units and VTOL (vertical 
take off and landing) strike units which 
can be set to fire on any enemy that 
attacks their defensive zones. This 
makes for speedy gameplay yet leaving 
the player fully in control of the overall 
tactical situation. 


Alex McLean. 

Head of Software Engineering. 
Pumpkin Studios, EIDOS Interactive. 





WARLORDS III; DARKLORDS RISING • REVIEW 


It's Good to Be Bad 

Master the Minions of Evil in This Poiished Gaming Legend 



by Lance A. Larka 

ere you one of last 
year's hopelessly 
addicted 
WARLORDS III 
fanatics? Did you 
lose countless 
nights of sleep as 
you juggled supply 
lines, razed castles, and built the 
definitive, killer stack of units? If 
you were, prepare to lose some 
more sleep, If you weren't, well, 
prepare to start losing sleep 
because WARLORDS III: DARKLORDS 
RISING is here, and it's bigger than 
its predecessor in every way, 
Gamers familiar with REIGN OF 
HEROES will feel right at home — 
not surprising considering the first 
game is on the CD, Gameplay is 
still turn-based and grounded in a 

computer'' 1 

GAMfl^ 




APPEAL Lovers 
of deep, addictive 
sbate^; 

WARLORDS fans 
who want to play 
the bad guy. 

PROS: Inaedible 
replay value; pow- 
erful game editor; 
immersive campaigns; loads of new 
units and abilities. 

CONS: Badly written manual: loved 
ones will miss you and wonder if you're 
still alive. 

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Intermediate. 
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: Pentium 
75. Windows 95/98, 16MB RAM, 80MB 
hard-drive space, 4x CD-ROM drive, 
SVGA graphics, Sound Blaster-compati- 
ble sound card, 28.8 modem for modem 
or Internet play. 

MULTIPLAYER SUPPORT: Modem (2 
players), Internet (2-4 players), LAN (2-8 
players); 1 CD per 2 players. 

3D SUPPORT: None. 

Price:$39.95 

Publisher: Red Orb tnieriain/nem 
Novato, CA 
(415) 382-4777 







A MAP WITH EVERYTHING ON IT It's easy to cre- 
ate your own maps, but you'll be hard-pressed 
to come up with anything sillier than tills map. 
which actually comes with the game. 


rich fantasy setting. DARKLORDS 
rising's main campaign picks up 
where REIGN OF HEROES left off, 
only this time you play the misun- 
derstood and maligned Lord Bane. 
There are four other campaigns to 
immerse yourself in as well. 

My, What Big 
Units You Have 

The most visible additions in 
DARKLORDS RISING are the 31 
additional army units, 5 new hero 
classes, and 28 new spells and 
abilities. You're also treated to 
new game types and victory condi- 
tions. For an especially entertaining 


combination, try 
playing "Battle 
of the Titans" 
with the 
"Capture the 
Flag" victory 
condition. In this 
variation, each 
side gets a level 
10 hero then 
must get the 
eight major 
magical items 
placed in the 
game. The first 
side that has a 
hero holding all 
eight items wins. 
The catch is that 
any hero holding 
any of the items 
has a nice flag 
on the icon. Talk 
about waving a 
red flag in front of a bull. 

There are other, invisible, but still 
important, improvements over 
REIGN OF HEROES, The Al has been 
tweaked to provide a much tougher 
computer opponent. Many times 1 
watched stacks of powerful enemy 
units slip through my carefully 
guarded flanks and wreak havoc 
on my cities. My heroes also drew 
careful attention from the enemy, 
especially when they were vulnera- 
ble and not just accessible. 


BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER 
Controlling choke points on the 
map is essential if you want to virin. 


My, What Nice 
Tools You Have 

The interface in WARLORDS has 
always been among the cleanest 
and most user-friendly in the 
genre, and DARKLORDS RISING isn't 
going to buck the trend. Everything 
is mouse-driven, easily accessed 
from the main window or a pop-up 
menu, and completely intuitive. 

My one and only complaint about 
it is the strategic map. The scroll- 
worked border blocks a few pixels 
of the map graphic and any towns 
or ruins there. 

The newest and best feature of 
DARKLORDS RISING isn't a part of 
the game proper — it's the fully 
functional editor. The game comes 
bundled with everything that you 
need to design, build, and edit 
maps, scenarios, and campaigns. 
You can even edit the intro, victory, 
defeat, and resignation texts. The 
game had replay value before, but 
now there's just no stopping it. 

The manual does not meet the 
standards of the rest of the game. It 
has the look of an editor's copy, 
with inaccurate references, lost sen- 
tences, and what appear to be 
comments to the staff for revision 
or notation. To learn fully about the 
game you would need to have the 
manual from REIGN OF HEROES. 
However, the appendixes are the 
best I've seen when it comes to 
explaining the combat sys- 
tem, spell affects, and unit 
statistics. They are an excel- 
lent reference when you're 
planning, playing, or building 
a scenario. 

DARKLORDS RISING Is a 
great game and fun to play, 
it has all the magic and 
attraction of previous titles 
in the series with the added 
advantage of the engaging 
campaigns, appealing sce- 
narios, and wonderful editor. 

Now.. .let's go hunt some 
good guys. 


v.computergaming.c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 






REVIEW • PEOPLE'S GENERAL 


The People Deserve Better 

Creativity Is Lacking in Great PEOPLE'S GENERAL Engine 



by Tim Carter 

apitalism. democracy, 
freedom. . .Those oh-so- 
intangible qualities that 
have allowed the good 
guys to triumph over 
countless hoards of his- 
torical and fictitious 
automaton-like hoards. As 
one of the good guys, your equip- 
ment is good enough, but it's your 
ingenuity — the product of a cen- 
turies-old free society — that will 
see you through. 

It’s a pity, however, that the 
challenges — and the very battle- 
field on which you are expected to 
triumph — appear to have been 
created by, well, automatons. (Tftey 
must be New Age Communists, 
however, since they want your 
money, too.) 

PEOPLE'S GENERAL puts you in 
charge of the combined Allied 

computer' 1 




APPEAL: 

Something to do 
while you wait 
fo; Pan2er3D. 

PROS: Nice 
additions to a 
great game sys- 
tem; attractive 
(in 16-bit color) 
and fun at times. 

CONS: Boring campaigns comprised of 
boring scenarios. 

DIFFICULTY: Easy. 

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: Pentium 
166, Windows 95/98, 32MB RAM, 60MB 
hard-drive space, 8x CD-ROM, DirectX 
compliant 2MB SVGA video card; sup- 
ports DirectX-compliant sound cards. 

3D SUPPORT: None. 

MULTIPLAYER SUPPORT: LAN and 
Internet (2-4 players), email (2 players); 

1 CD per player. 

Price; S59.9S 
Publisher: SSI 
Novato, CA 
(800) 716-8503 



(mostly American) or People's 
Republic of China forces in a global 
war circa 2008 that ranges from 
Siberia to Southeast Asia and back 
again. The game combines a 
proven interface and game system 
with the dullest set of battles since 
Sir Douglas Haig decided to march 
on Berlin six inches at a time. 

New Model Army 

As you'd expect, PEOPLE'S 
GENERAL relies heavily on PANZER 
GENERAL II, although the combina- 
tion of significant game tweaks 
and the distinct nature of 21 st cen- 
tury warfare should keep gamers 
from getting too severe a case of 
sequetitis. Naval forces no longer 


play a significant role in the game, 
and amphibious assault scenarios 
start with your troops already on 
the beachhead. 

Air support is handled in a 
much more abstract manner. As a 
local force commander, you are 
allocated a particular amount of 
air power that can be used for 
ground support, reconnaissance, 
antiair defense, and defensive 
missions. You no longer control 
individual air units, and the whole 
idea of running out of ammo or 
fuel has been removed. 

On the other hand, your core 
force will include helicopter units 
that act much like Stukas. Air- 
mobile units, new to this series, 
come with 
their own 
helicopter 
transport 
and are 
particularly 
useful for 
hopping long 
distances or 
dropping a 
critical extra 
unit into a 
battle. 

A few 
other minor 


changes also make PEOPLE'S 
GENERAL more interesting than its 
predecessors. For instance, you may 
now purchase minor customiza- 
tions for your units, beefing up 
their abilities somewhat in particu- 
lar areas. You can give some units 
more and better ammo, while 
improving others' movement and 
antitank or antiaircraft firepower. 
This is a nice touch because it 
allows a creative commander the 
chance to customize his force fur- 
ther. As the essence of the entire 
game system is getting the appro- 
priate match-ups between your 
units and the enemy's units, the 
chance to tweak your forces, even 
just slightly, adds a fun, new ele- 
ment to the building process. 

Unit leaders now play a some- 
what more prominent role (there 
are more of them), and you may 
also curry favor with the High 
Command by taking particular trig- 
ger objectives or by winning more 
prestige, leaders, air support, or 
prototype units. 

The Long Mis-Steppes 

While there's no arguing with 
the success or playability of this 
game system, the campaigns in 
PEOPLE'S GENERAL— some short, 
others up to 1 8 missions — leave a 
lot to be desired. Although the 
names of the battles change, most 
scenarios leave you feeling as 
though you're retracing your steps. 

The campaigns take you from 
the Russian heartland to the jun- 
gles of Vietnam, Malaysia, and 
Thailand to the hills of Korea. 

Oddly enough, the designers fash- 
ioned a hypothetical war between 
China and the rest of the world 
that somehow didn't involve either 
Taiwan or Japan, (And why, I'd like 
to know, is a large U.S. army fight- 
ing in Siberia?) 

In fact, the entire package of 
scenarios, taken as a whole, 
demonstrates a pretty serious lack 



BOMBS AWAY! From this air aliocation screen 
generals can call down a quite limited number 
of air strikes. 




COMPUTER GAMING WORLD • DECEMBER 1998 


v.computorgaming.c 





PEOPLE'S GENERAL • REVIEW 



of creativity. Despite a wide variety 
in terrain and climate, you never 
really have to adjust either your 
force mix or your tactics. The full- 
on armored assault that worked on 
the plains of Siberia will also carry 
you to Hanoi. I have the sneaking 
suspicion that my tanks shouldn’t 
be quite as mobile in dense jungle 
as they are on the frozen steppe. 

Many other countries provide 
settings for the campaign, and the 


U.S. is supposed to have all kinds 
of allies in the hypothetical war, yet 
your forces are pretty much all 
American in their composition and 
abilities. Sure, you can buy other 
units for your core force (which 
also doesn't make a hell of a lot of 
sense), but you simply don't see 
much of the UN-llke conglom- 
eration that made the Korean War, 
for example, so interesting. 

Moreover, there isn't much dra- 
matic tension in 
the way the sce- 
narios unfold. 

The campaign is 
quite linear, and 
accumulating 
more prestige 
points seems to 
be your only 
reward for fin- 
ishing quickly. 
One of the 
things that made 
the original 
PANZER GENERAL 
so much fun was 
the historical 
payoffs that 
came from 
accomplishing 
particular 
scenario 
objectives — like 
the ability to 
invade England 
If you won a 
decisive victory 
at Dunkirk. 


PROTOTYPE WHIRLYBIRD The Seminole attack 
helicopter is a powerful weapon — if you win 
enough battles to gain the right to fly h. 


Building Better Battles 


. ; ■ ; 'x-'i 



’ I : J W 

C' ^ -I- - 

' ^ ; iiv.'... ,, .. 



'Z# : 




- ^ - 




7 ' r 


. i . i ^ ' Jd. 

.. .. 

' : I.. I \ ^ AeiI'IxK. 




s with so many strategy 

game (a quite exhaustive selec- 

games these days. 

tion] but also to the basic preset 

PEOPLE'S GENERAL 

unit and terrain characteristics. 

comes complete with its own 

Thus, you can't really create any- 

scenario generator. Sadly, the 

thing genuinely new. 

scenario generation system is no 

You do have significant con- 

more creative than the cam- 

trol over the type and composi- 

paigns that come with the game. 

tion of the opposing forces. ra 

Because the maps for People's 

Interestingly, the campaigns do S 

General are hand painted, you 

not take advantage of the 1 

must choose from among the 

diversity of the available S 

limited number that come with 

forces. Thus, the one attraction S 

the game-which gets old pretty 

of the scenario generator is f 

fast. You do get some useful 

that it gives you the ability to H 

maps of South East Asia, which 

field armies from, say, Germany ^ 

should allow creative gamers to 

and England. As to why the 1 

refight a few battles from the 

British should be duking it out ^ 

Vietnam War if they so choose. 

in Vladivostock in the first u 

Also, you arc not only limited 

place? Well, that's where your if 

to the units provided by the 

creativity comes in, isn't it? ^ 

1 

^ 



JUGGERNAUT By the later scenarios, the U.S. Army becomes unstop* 
pable. Here, the number of units barely fits on the map. 


PANZER GENERAL II altered 
the scale of the game to 
such an extent that most 
scenarios lost their you-con- 
trol-the-whole-battle feel. 

Yet, you still had the sense 
that your success or failure 
affected historical events 
with which most gamers 
would be familiar. And, given 
that PEOPLE'S GENERAL 
posits a hypothetical future 
war, the designers have an 
even greater burden to 
develop a story that could 
carry it's own weight-some- 
thing they haven't managed 
to pull off. 

As with virtually all of 
the GENERAL series, most 


scenarios also put you in the role 
of the attacker (unless you are in 
a multiplayer game). This is per- 
haps necessitated by the Al. 
which is quite good at local coun- 
terattacks but otherwise seems a 
tad passive. Also, the Al doesn't 
seem to use helicopters to maxi- 
mum effect, and has a tendency 
to leave artillery units in danger- 
ous, unprotected situations. 

In PEOPLE'S GENERAL, SSI has 
delivered yet another great game 
system. Unfortunately, they haven’t 
quite delivered the game itself 
Mind you, if they were to release a 
scenario pack sometime in the 
future that compensated for the 
weak campaigns, I'd be the first to 
go out and buy it. 


/.computefgaming.c 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD « DECEMBER 1998 




REVIEWS 


Emei^ency Tactics 

Fight Fires and Just Plain Fight in These Strategy Titles 





from a simple traffic accident 
to a nuclear power plant 
meltdown. You dispatch the vehi- 
cles {fire trucks, ambulances, cop 
cars, rescue helicopters) and the 
staff (firemen, medics, stretcher- 
bearers). Once they reach the 
scene, you decide what they do. Do 
you start by fighting the fire or 
tending to the wounded? Does one 
fireman or two search for victims? 
As in real-life, if you make the 
wrong decision, people die. 

After a few missions, the compli- 
cated controls become intu- 
itive, (Although the human 
figures are small enough that 
you sometimes lose precious 
seconds trying to position 
your cursor so you can select 
the one you want.) After 
some simple tutorial scenar- 
ios, the missions get nicely 
complicated: lots of people 
scurrying about, lots to be 
done, and a ticking clock counting 
down the seconds to disaster. 

EMERGENCY surprised me with 
its sense of true urgency, reinforced 
by the terrific animations that 
introduce most of the scenarios. It's 
also more of a puzzle game (but a 
good puzzle game) than a strategy 
game, asking you to rethink and 
replay each scenario until you 
achieve a performance rating of 
1 00 percent. With better controls, 
EMERGENCY would come closer to 


Emergency: 
Fighters for Life 

☆ 

Publisher: WizardWorks 
Price: $19.99 
www.wizworks.com 

We're all familiar with disaster 
footage from the nightly news: air- 
plane crashes, terrorist bombings, 
10-car pile-ups, and five-alarm 
fires. The typical visual Is of a 


grime-streaked rescue worker hold- 
ing the bloody, unconscious form of 
some fortunate soul saved from 
the wreckage. 

For those of us who never out- 
grew our childhood dream of being 
the fireman carrying that baby out 
of the burning building, Wizard- 
Works' EMERGENCY: FIGHTERS FOR 
LIFE provides a most satisfying jolt. 

EMERGENCY puts you in com- 
mand of a rescue team that has to 
respond to 30 scenarios, ranging 


achieving a 100 percent rating 
itself. — Charles Ardai 


and handle battles. If you get 
stuck, hints are available in the 
manual for each mission. The mis- 
sions are all well done — and are 
not that easy — but with a game 
that's been out this long, is a tuto- 
rial really needed? Newbie strat- 
egy gamers aren't likely to spend 
$40 on a game and another $20 
on an add-on disc just to get start- 
ed — this title would have made 
more sense had it been bundled 
with the executable and released 
as a full-fledged beginner's edition. 

Still, even veteran TA players 
will find some value here. The 100 
missions are divided 
into four types; very 
short, short, medi- 
um, and long. The 
very short and short 
missions — still chal- 
lenging despite their 
brevity — range from 
5-20 minutes in 
length and are great 
for those moments 
when you only have 
time for a quick gaming break. If 
you've ever told your spouse 
"Honey, I'll be coming to bed in 
just a moment, as soon as I finish 
this game" oniy to suffer the con- 
sequences of getting tied up in a 
two-hour melee, you'll appreciate 
them. — Denny Atkin 


Total Annihilation: 

Battle Tactics 

vV -Tt 'A- ’ 

Publisher: Cavedog 
Price: $19.99 

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TOTAL ANNIHILATION: BATTLE 
TACTICS is sort of like a sex manual 
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esting, and chock full of entertain- 
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to need it at this point? 

This disc includes a set of 100 
new missions for TA that act as an 
interactive primer for the new 
player, teaching newbie strategy 
gamers how best to allocate 
resources, take advantage of units, 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


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REVIEWS 

A Classic Sampling 

Classics and Puzzle Reviews at a Glance 



Looney Tunes Cosmic 
Capers Animated 
Jigsaws 

A ☆ A -A: -A 

Publisher: SouthPeak Interactive 
Price: $29.99 

vvww.southpeak.com 

R egular jigsaw puzzles can be 
fun, but they have nasty 
downsides, such as pieces 
that get lost and the way they take 
up valuable floor- or table space. 
SouthPeak's LOONEY TUNES COSMIC 
CAPERS ANIMATED JIGSAWS has no 
such faults. Even better, it offers 
over 20 different puzzles featuring 
Marvin Martian, Daffy Duck, and 
Bugs Bunny. And, as a reward for 
completing a puzzle, you're treated 
to a video clip of a Looney Tunes 
cartoon — a real pleasure for kids 
of any age who enjoy Chuck Jones’ 
zany artistry. 

Each puzzle in COSMIC CAPERS 
can be solved at five different diffi- 
culty levels. The easiest level is 
great for young children while the 
hardest will appeal most to puzzle 
fanatics. The interface can be 
switched between kid-friendly and 
adult as well, though I have to 
admit I liked the "juvenile" inter- 
face better. There are plenty of help 
features, and being able to save 
during a very tough puzzle is a nice 
touch. You can even print out com- 
pleted puzzles. 

The biggest problems with 
COSMIC CAPERS are that there 


aren't enough 
puzzle pictures 
and that the video 
clips are often too 
short: "It's dith- 
picable," as Daffy 
Duck would say. 
Also, nothing 
beats the hands- 
on experience of 
completing a jig- 
saw puzzle, the 
joy of admiring the completed 
project for a while, or the oppor- 
tunity it affords for people to do 
something mildly constructive 
together while they chat. Even so, 
this is a great game for kids, and 
you won't have to hunt for lost 
pieces. — Petra Schlunk 


Notyet 

■A-AAAA 

Publisher: MVP Software, Inc 
Price: $19,95 
wvtfw.mvpsoft.com 

F or a small independent pub- 
lisher, MVP software has had 
its share of modest hits, such 



as 1994's MVP BRIDGE. MVP's lat- 
est, NOTYET {developed by Grog 
Productions) revels in being retro. 
It's an almost totally non-glitzy, 
though at times colorful, DOS 
game that applies ASTEROIDS-style 
gameplay to a Chinese puzzle set- 
ting. Basically, you operate a tri- 
angular gun that rotates and fires 
on various elements moving in 
concentric orbits around the gun. 
The object is to bump trigrams — 
rectangular objects — Into new 


orbits so that identical trigrams can 
pair up in neighboring orbits. 

Paired trigrams disappear, provid- 
ing extra energy for firing the gun. 
When all matchable trigrams are 
gone, you warp into the next round 
of play. The game ends when your 
gun runs out of energy, 

NOTYET tries to keep things 
interesting by incorporating addi- 
tional orbiting objects: Objects that 
destroy trigrams (leeching energy 
from your gun), change orbits' 
directions, teleport items, and 
more. Elements vary in the game's 
different levels and mastering any 
of these levels can be challenging, 
although the game's overall diffi- 
culty level Is adjustable. 

Aside from the dated graphics, 
NOTYET doesn't offer much that's 
new, and it's hard to imagine 
action-oriented puzzle gamers find- 
ing sustained amusement here. Our 
advice is to dust off your old copy 
of BAKU-BAKU, or if you want to 
support MVP, download RINGS OF 
THE MAGI, which won CGW'% best 
Shareware Puzzle Game award for 
1996. — Petra Schlunk 


Play This Play That 
■AAA A A 

Publisher: Patch Products, Inc. 

Price: $19.99 

www.patchproducts.com 

E verything old isn't exactly 
new again, but it's certainly 
packaged that way. PLAY THIS 


PLAY THAT features a mix of puz- 
zles, classic, arcade, and even 
sports titles that we've seen before, 
some of which fare better than 
others when viewed with today's 
more jaded eyes. 

Odd Man Out is a computerized 
version of the peg jumping game 
you play country-style restaurants. 
Once you get the formula down, 
it's best forgotten, as is Walk the 
Plank, a graphical takeoff on 
Hangman. Memory Madness lares 
somewhat better, if only because 
it's replayable. Saloon Shoot Out! 
delivers just what it promises; a 
limited, if cute, shooter very com- 
mon in the C-64 days. 

Skeet Shooter \s a nice little 
game that lets you shoot clay 
pigeons from the sky in timed, 
championship or 25-shot modes. 
Given that you can fire a .22 cal- 
iber rifle or a 12- or 20-gauge 
shotgun solo or against three 
fellow marksman via hotseat, 
there's plenty to do here — though 
this game isn't quite up to the 
standard set by WizardWorks' 
SPORTING CLAYS. 

Air Hockey, however, is a real 
gem, the best version of this classic 
game since the heyday of the 
Amiga. The gliding of the puck 
across the "air cushion" is really 
captured nicely, and the best of the 
computer opponents are evil wrist 
action incarnate. For around 20 
bucks, you could do worse than 
PLAY THIS PLAY THAT on your Mac 
PC. — Terry Coleman 



tf.computergaminj’.( 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 







STRATEGY • CHEATS • WALKTHROUGHS 


Might & Magic VI 

CGWs Resident Mage Reaches Into Her Bag of Tricks for Some M&M Treats 



by Scorpia 

M &m VI: mandate of 
HEAVEN can be a diffi- 
cult game, especially 
toward the beginning. 
The reduced party size 
and emphasis on skills 
make for a pretty big 
learning curve, and it's 
difficult to figure out the best ways 
to fight the opposition. There is 
hope, however; Getting off to a 
good start with a well-balanced 
party can go a long way toward 
reducing early frustration. 

Knights in 
White.. .Whatever 

My own experience is that 
knights, even at high levels and 
after several promotions, didn't 
fight that much better than any- 
one else. Likewise, clerics have, at 
best, weak offensive spells (until 
supplemented with Light and/or 
Dark magic). So, when tailoring 
my group the second time 
around, I dumped the knight in 
favor of a second archer, and 
dumped the cleric for a druid. 

Overall, the best party turned 
out to be an archer, a druid, and 
two sorcerers. This lineup gives 
you four characters with elemen- 
tal spells, and at the higher 
experience levels, archers have a 
respectable number of spell 
points. Even early on in the game, 
an extra fireball or meteor shower 
can be a great help. Furthermore, 
archers come with the Bow skill, 
which is tremendously helpful for 
much of the game. I also like to 
bring my archers up to speed in 
the Spear skill, which conveniently 
includes tridents and halberds. 

See the Review 


AUGUST ISSUE • 4.5 STARS 


Don't Dread Druids 

Druids need to be built up care- 
fully: you don't want to squander 
precious skill points, particularly at 
the start, I prefer to bring my druid 
quickly to expert level in Spirit (for 
the partywide Bless and Heroism 
spells), Body (for the healing), and 
Fire, which is the workhorse offen- 
sive group most of the time. 

Afterward, you can decide where 
your druid's studies should be con- 
centrated: One good method is to 
increase proficiency in complement 
to the sorcerer, with the druid 
working on, say, Earth and Fire 
while the sorcerer does Air and 
Water. This approach quickly gives 
you power in all four magical ele- 
ments. Of course, the cleric skills 
shouldn't be neglected. I generally 
increase Spirit and Body to master 


levels and leave Mind for later 
(though one should have Mind at 
least to expert level before too late 
in the game). 

I always aim for Water Master 
with a sorcerer as quickly as possi- 
ble. Life is much easier when you 
have both Lloyd's Beacon lasting 
for weeks and full control over 
Town Portal. This typically means 
bringing the sorcerer to Fire Expert 
first, then leaving that off to work 
on Water. Once mastery has been 
achieved in these skills, I turn back 
to the others. 

Do You Feel Lucky, Elf? 

During the point-allocation 
phase when creating your party, 
take two points off Luck for each 
character you can. This gives extra 
points for other stats, and everyone 


can drink twice from the Luck well 
in New Sorpigal to restore the lost 
points — just make sure to go 
straight to the well right after the 
game begins. 

One way to get off to a good 
start is to show the letter to 
Andover and collect your money. 
Then, drink from the Luck well. Get 
the horseshoes from the stable, go 
to Castle Ironfist, and grab the 
horseshoes from the castle's stable 
as well. Run up the mountain, stay- 
ing well to the right. See Lord 
Humphrey. See Lord Humphrey give 
you 5,000 gold and tons of experi- 
ence. See your party training. Train, 
train, train. 

After your party has gained two 
levels, go back down the mountain 
and see Andrew (near the stable); 
buy Berserkers Fury membership. 


.COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 




Go to the guild, purchase the Bow skill for 
everyone who needs it, and buy bows at Eagle 
Eye. Return to New Sorpigal via stable. Be a big 
spender; go around and buy guild memberships 
in all the guilds. Visit Blades End and get a Hand 
Weapon skill for archers. 

After Dark Plot Savers 

Wait until 6 p.m., then enter Buccaneer's 
Den and buy Disarm, Merchant, and Item ID, 
giving each skill to a different party member. 
Sack out at the inn (you deserve it). The next 
day, train your characters up to level three. 
Bring the Item ID skill up to four, then see the 
expert trainer over the inn. Give the four horse- 
shoes to your ID expert to replace the points 
he or she just spent. You now have a bona fide 
level-three party that is capable of fighting in 
close or from a distance, as well as enough 
points to bring one skill apiece to expert 
level and the ability to identify a good 80-90 


: Outdoor Sunduat 

O utdoor fighting will be a pain until you reach Free Haven, where the top-level 
spells, such as Meteor Shower, are available. Meteor Shower and Starburst will 
make your life easier in the wilderness areas. Until then, always advance slowly 
In the outdoors (unless you have to run), and be certain Vizard Eye is up and running all 
the time. 

Always take on monsters in small numbers, indoors or out Even weak critters can be 
trouble when there are many of them, and there usually are. The basic rule to remember is 
TAM: There's Always More. Running blindly around the countryside, or stepping blithely 
into an apparently empty room can get you killed very quickly. 

In dungeons, if nothing shows up immediately when a door is opened, move around a 
little; sidestep, or edge up one side or the other of the doorway, slowly. Often, you can get 
a good enough w'ew to plink one monster with arrows and draw it out thereby fighting 
the opposition one at a time. For weak monsters, ifs best to draw out a bunch, and rip off 
a few Infernos to dispose of them quickly. 

Once you have Lloyd's Beacon, keep a beacon in New Sorpigal, and drop another in 
whatever dungeon you're exploring. Anytime the party is in bad shape, pop back to 
Sorpigal. Basic healing costs only 10 gold per character (more if you're insane or dis- 
eased), and it restores spelipoints as well as hit-points — a very inexpensive way to get 



percent of the items you find (which 
can net you some real savings). 

from this point on, your merchant 
should do all transactions, including 
buying spells, paying for rides via ship 
or stable, buying and selling items, 
staying at an inn, etc. Later in the 
game, you obtain Merchant skill for 
the rest of the party, as it will make 
training costs much cheaper (those 
high-ievel training sessions really eat 
up the cash). 

Once New Sorpigal is cleaned up, 
Mist is a good next stop. The 
Followers of Baa and friends are easy 
kills, and you can pick up some 
decent spells at the guilds. The Silver 


DAYCUBEThis New World Dungeon offers 
you not only puns, but a Day of the Gods 
spell as well. 


Helm Outpost, however, is a tough place, and 
best left for a time when your group is more 
experienced. 

After Mist, Castle Ironfist is the place to go. 
The game will turn tough here, especially in the 
dungeons. The Shadow Guild is the easiest of 
the bunch, so you may want to start with that 
one. If you're having a lot of trouble in the dun- 
geons, you can take time off to clean up the 
outdoors for extra experience, or even go up to 
Bootleg Bay to beat on the cannibals and lizard- 
men there. 


Magic Booster Shots 

Booster spells such as Bless, Heroism, Day 
of the Gods, and so forth are a great help in 
combat. Get them early and use them often. 

Stone Skin, especially at high lev- 
els, is also good. 

Turn-based mode is good for 
fighting, but you can also travel, 
enter/exit dungeons, and open 
doors in turn mode. Always go to 
turn mode when entering a new 
dungeon, as some of them have 
unsavory welcoming committees 
right on the other side of the door. 
Room doors in dungeons are usually 
best opened the same way. 

Quests have no time limit. The 
giver will wait patiently until when- 
ever you get around to accomplish- 
ing the task. If a mission is too 
tough, leave it for later and go do 
something else. 


SHRINE OF THE GODS In Dragonsand, touch 
the shrine for the magical equivalent of JoK 
cola, then dick on the inner walls. 


fixed up without needing a lot of rest. When you can control the Town Portal, use tiiat 
to visit Sorpigal instead of the beacon. 


Good Egg 
Hunting 


OSaiSK, MY OBEUSK These point the way to 
an optional— but very nice— treasure. How- 
ever, you must touch each and every one of 
the 15 obelisks for the treasure to be active. 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD « DECEMBER 1998, 





MIGHT & MAGIC VI 





WHO NEEDS KNIGHTS? Merlin the Arch-Mage is Hell on wheels 
with spells and daggers. If he doesn't fry you to a grease spot 
he'll turn you into sushi. 


Training takes the same amount 
of time whether you're training 
one person or four, 1 level or 1 0 
levels. It's therefore best to bring 
everyone up together, and to com- 
plete a dungeon (or dungeon and 
quest) before training. 8y going up 
several levels at once, you have 
more skill points to allocate, and 
this becomes important later on, 
when skills need a lot of points 
to advance. 

Items for sale in the shops and 
guilds are chosen at random the 
first time you walk through the 
door. Especially for spells, save 
before entering a guild the first 
time. If you don't like the selec- 
tion, exit, restore, and try again. 
Note, though, that not all guilds 
have all spells. You'll never get 
Incinerate or Fly in New Sorpigal; 
only the high-level guilds have 
high-level stuff. 

If your reputation has taken a 
nose-dive because of something 
you did (even unknowingly), you 
can fix that by making donations 
at temples. Shrines that boost 
stats work only in one particular 
month. You must ask the Seer 
about "pilgrimage" each month — 
even if you asked him about a 
shrine previously — and then go 
touch the shrine to receive the 
boost (it helps to know where the 
shrine is, of course!). 

The traveling circus shows up 
three times a year only, in the fol- 
lowing places: Blackshire in April, 
Darkmoor in July, and Bootleg Bay 



in December. The circus has six 
games, which give you the chance 
to win golden pyramids or kegs of 
wine. These can be traded at 
Abdul's Desert Resort in Dragon- 
sand for various random items, or 
sold for cash to various people in 
Free Haven. 

At the Shrine of the Gods in 
Dragonsand, each person must 
toucli the shrine to receive the 
+20 (permanent) boost to stats 
and resistance. There is also an 
Easter egg here; After touching 
the shrine, click on the inner walls 
to visit a very special dungeon — 
keep an eye out for the cube that 
grants a Day of the Gods spell at 
+256 to the seven stats. Until 
next time, happy 
adventuring! 0317 


Internet: www.scorpia.com 
Email: scorpia@scorpia.com 
US Mail: Scorpia, PO Box 
338, Grade Station, New York, 
NY 10028. 


(Enclose a self-addressed, 
stamped envelope if you live 
in the U.S.) 



f you're just starting out in M8iM VI, it's tempting to investigate 
first and lick your wounds later. Here are a few of our (east 
favorite things. Avoid them. 


LAIR OF THE WOLF 
This dungeon entry 
spot isn't a nice place 
to visit, and you really 
wouldn't want to die 
here. - 


STONE GARGOYLE As 
seen from its stingy 
hit point bar, these 
weaklings are more 
annoying than dan- 
gerous. 


DIAMOND GARGOYLE 
This critter, on the 
other hand, boasts 
about the length of 
his bar constantly 
(must be a male). 


MINOTAUR Don't try 
to be Theseus-~steer 
clear of these wher- 
ever possible. 


DRAGONSAND Aptly 
named, with lots of 
dragons around. The 
upper right map shows 
locations (red dots) of 
all dragons nearby, and 
as usual, they are much 
too dose for comfort 


COLOSSAL HYDRA I 
hate snakes (in this 
game, anyway). You 
should, too. 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD « DECEMBER 1996 




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People's General 

Projecting Power in the 2 1st Century 





by Marc Dultz 

fi amers will readily dis- 
cover that PEOPLE’S 
GENERAL portrays war- 
fare in a totally different 
light than does its pre- 
decessor, PANZER 
GENERAL II. PEOPLE'S 
GENERAL demonstrates 
the profound technological 
advances that have emerged since 
the close of WWII. Fire-and-forget 
missiles and lethal weaponry capa- 
ble of being transported by one 
man are now commonplace on the 
battlefield, and they are designed 
to destroy a target from several 
miles away. What's more, the 
advent of both the transport- and 
scout/attack helicopters and the 
development of jet-powered, 
ground-attack aircraft have added 
an entirely new dimension to the 
modern battlefield. All that gives 
today's commanders much more 
flexibility and destructive capability 
than their WWII counterparts could 
ever have hoped to possess. 

Knowing how these complex 
systems operate on today's battle- 
field will certainly help to further 

See the Review 


THIS ISSUE • 3 STARS 


STUCK ON YOU Attachments are worth their weight in golden 
prestige points. 


conduct 

reconnais- 

sance 

missions 


insertion 
in order 
to locate 
good drop 
zones. 


against a helh 
copter can 
force rt to flee 
from tile map, 
rmdering it 
totally inef* 
fectiveforthe 
duration of 
the turn. 
Whenever 
possible, you 
should always 
reconnoHer 
an area first 

before dispatching a helicopter, moving in an air defense unit to 
help protect the helicopter against enemy air-to-air fire. 


Helicopter troop ships should be used to transport air- 
liftable units from rear area assembly points to forward air 
bases, particularly when the terrain is poor and ground move- 
ment for other units is proceeding at a sluggish pace. Transport 
helicopters should also be used to drop air-mobile units deep 
behind enemy lines, seizing victory objectives or holding open 
critical road junctures until reinforcements can arrive. Ught 
infantry units are particularly good at conducting air-mobile 
operations because they can load, fly, unload, move up to their 
full movement allowance, and even finally initiate an attack all 
on the same turn. Be advised, though, that air-mobile units 
cannot land in an enemy zone of control, so it's important tiiat 


Helicopter Heaven 


T he naive wew of attack helicopters is that they are flying 
tanks. In reality, choppers have some limitations, such as 
being forced to immediately end their movement phase if 
they fly witiiin range of an enemy air defense unit What's more, 

defensive air 


your understanding of modern mil- 
itary strategy and tactics. More- 
over, learning how these systems 
are employed In PEOPLE'S GENERAL 
will not only guarantee victory on 
the virtual battlefield, but also 
ensure success on the treacherous 
campaign trail. 


Combined Arms 

First popularized by the 
blitzkrieg strategy of the 
We/rrmac/jf during the opening 
stages of WWII, the combined arms 
concept — which entails 
having all available 
artillery, infantry, 
armored fighting vehi- 
cles (AFVs) and tactical 
airpower work in con- 
cert to achieve a com- 
mon objective — is even 
more important on 
today's battlefield. In 
PEOPLE'S GENERAL, every 
type of unit, whether an 
attack helicopter or a 
self-propelled artillery 
battery, possesses different 
strengths and weaknesses, making 
each adept at certain tasks, yet ill- 
suited for others. 

For instance, armored fighting 
vehicles (AFVs), which include 
tanks and armored troop carriers, 


are generally much more effective 
if employed against artillery, air 
defense units, and soft targets — 
such as infantry and combat sup- 
port units — especially if these can 
be engaged on clear terrain. 
However, AFVs are generally 


incapable of eliminating 
entrenched enemy infantry units 
hunkered down in cities, rough ter- 
rain, and forest hexes, and must 
rely upon other supporting arms to 
soften up these positions before 
they attack. 


Ik COMPUTEf^ GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 





PEOPLE'S GENERAL 


The development of smart 
bombs, sub-munitions, low-flying 
weapons platforms, and reconnais- 
sance drones has made the mod- 
ern battlefield a much more lethal 
environment to operate within 
than that ofWWII, even for heavily 
armored forces. Although AFVs are 
still considered to be the king of 
the battlefield, they’re nevertheless 
quite vulnerable to helicopter 
attacks, air strikes, and antitank 
weapons. Unless accompanied by 
strong air defense and rapidly 
advancing infantry forces, even the 
best AFVs can be pommeled and 
destroyed in rather methodical 
fashion. Your goal is to requisition, 
field, and maintain as wide an 
array of forces as possible — one 
that will immediately be able to 
overcome any type of threat. 

While it certainly helps to have a 
plentiful supply of cheap units at 
the ready, in reality it is advanta- 
geous to have only a few battle- 
hardened units on hand rather 
than hordes of inexperienced units. 
Although veteran and elite units 
cost more to purchase than inexpe- 
rienced units (units typically cost 
30 prestige points per experience 
level), they also sustain far fewer 
casualties in battle and inflict far 
greater losses upon the enemy. 
What's more, veteran and elite 
units can also be pumped up to 
higher than normal strength levels 
between scenarios, thereby 
increasing their staying power on 
the battlefield and improving their 
combat effectiveness. Finally, veter- 
an and elite units can receive 



replacements several times during 
a scenario before their combat 
strength begins to show signs of 
eroding, an important point to 
remember because of the manner 
in which replacements are now 
treated in PEOPLE'S GENERAL. 

A Matter of Prestige 

During a battle, prestige is no 
longer used to purchase replace- 
ments for weakened units. In fact, 
replacements are free — any friend- 
ly unit can receive replacements so 
long as the unit isn't located 
adjacent to an enemy unit. The 
problem, however, is that whenev- 
er a unit receives replacements 
during a scenario, its overall 
strength is diminished (it's reduced 
by one strength point every time 
you attempt to bring the unit back 




SUPPOItT CHAIN Forced to begin the scenario 
at the only available supply hex. this combat 
support unit isn't all that beneficial. After it 
moves, you can then purchase, deploy, and 
move another CSU. Note how a chain of CSUs 
can be created in order to place fresh units 
nearer the front 





moment they are purchased. Even 
though attachments increase the 
purchase price of a new unit (30 
prestige points per attachment for 
the Western side, 50 per attach- 
ment for the Chinese), they are 
nevertheless very important assets 
to have on hand, especially for 
armored, artillery, and over- 
strength units. For instance, an AFV 
equipped with a bridging capability 
no longer has to rely upon an engi- 
neer unit to help it ford a river. In a 
similar manner, reconnaissance 
attachments not only improve the 


Air Supremacy 


A ir superiority and vertical envelop- 
ment are of paramount importance in 
PEOPLE'S GENERAL. A player's level of 
air superiority will not only determine how 
many air missions he will be permitted to fly 
during any given scenario but it will also 
affect his aircraft's range and capabilities. 

Whenever the air superiority level Is low, 
all friendly helicopter movement is severely 
curtailed, reducing their range, airlift capa- 
bility and combat effectiveness. By the same 
token, a low air-superiority level will reduce 
the range of friendly fixed-wing aircraft, 
making them far less effective in both the 
reconnaissance and air-strike roles. Despite 
the relatively high cost, you should always 
adjust your air superiority level to 100 per- 
cent, spending as many prestige points as it 
takes to ensure air supremacy and complete 
freedom of movement. 

Once air superiority has been established, 
airpower should be used to; (1) help you 
locate and ascertain the enemy's disposi- 
tions and strength; (2) destroy high value 
enemy units, such as artillery and combat 
support units; (3) suppress enemy air defens- 
es; and (4) ward off any enemy attack heli- 
copters. Resist the temptation to spend all 
of your prestige points on air missions at the 
first sign of trouble, instead, spend your 
points in small increments, making sure to 
always keep enough prestige points on hand 
to call In any type of air mission, even dur- 
ing the latter stages of a scenario. 

Attack helicopters are especially good at 
softening up enemy positions, especially 
armored concentrations, before a ground 
assault is undertaken. Attack choppers 
should also be used to destroy any enemy 
units that may be situated outside the com- 
bat range of friendly ground forces. Lastly, 
attack choppers are good at protecting open 
flanks, and they are generally able to blunt 
or slow an enemy drive until friendly ground 
forces can be brought up. 


up to full strength). Therefore, 
unless the unit is very experienced, 
it probably makes more sense to 
temporarily withdraw those units 
that have received numerous 
replacements during the later 
stages of a scenario, taking them 
off the front lines to guard a CSU 
or some other supporting arm. 

Another principal difference 
between PANZER GENERAL 11 and 
PEOPLE'S GENERAL has to do with 
the concept of attachments. 
Attachments give a unit special 
abilities above and beyond its nor- 
mal capabilities. 

In fact, new 
units may be 
augmented by 
as many as two 
supporting 
attachments the 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD 


DECEMBER 1998. 


A 



PEOPLE'S GENERAL 



IRON CURTAIN It appears as if this Chinese combat group is in full view of tiie nearby Russian 
forces, but the recon unit is screening their advance. 


spotting capability of the AFV but 
also serve to reduce its profile, 
making it much harder for enemy 
units to spot it. 

Generally, Infantry-type units 
should be allotted a forward 
observer attachment, since this 
will allow them to call in much 
more accurate artillery fire against 
adjacent enemy units. Combat 
engineer attachments would be an 
equally wise choice, since this will 
make it much easier for the unit to 
stave off a close assault. By the 


same token, infantry units, rein- 
forced with combat engineers, 
make ideal candidates to root out 
entrenched enemy infantry units 
that may be guarding key victory 
objectives. 

Reconnaissance units, charged 
with scouting ahead of the main 
body, should be provided with 
both air defense and antitank 
attachments to bolster their 
defensive capabilities should they 
run into unexpected resistance. 
And, because they can quickly 


deplete their stocks of ammuni- 
tion, artillery units should be 
assigned both special munitions 
and combat support attachments. 
The combat support attachment 
will permit the artillery unit to 
fire off more shells before requir- 
ing resupply, while the special 
munitions attachment will 
improve the artillery's hard and 
soft attack ratings, making them 
much more effective in both 
the supporting fire and counter- 
battery roles. 


Finally, it makes sense to add a 
combat support attachment to 
either overstrength units or units 
containing a leader. The combat 
support attachment will not only 
let the unit recover all of its origi- 
nal overstrength level during the 
replacement phase but also 
negate the effect of diminishing 
replacements. In effect, these pow- 
erful units will stay strong for the 
duration of the scenario, which in 
turn means they'll probably accu- 
mulate even more experience 
points as the battle wears on. 

Force Multipliers 

Tlie combat support unit (CSU) 
is perhaps the most important unit 
in your arsenal, serving, for all 
intents and purposes, as a mobile 
reinforcement center. Now, instead 
of having to deploy units at distant 
supply hexes far removed from the 
Forward Edge of the Battlefield 
Area (FEBA), you can put new units 
into play in the hexes surrounding 
a CSU, so long as the CSU isn't 
adjacent to an enemy unit. 

Interestingly, additional CSUs 
can be purchased, deployed, and 
moved all in the same turn, in 
much the same manner as regular 
combat units. Theoretically then, a 
player can create a continuous 
chain of CSUs, placing new CSUs 
and fresh units closer to the front 
lines, where they're obviously 
needed most. 

Building, then moving, multiple 
CSUs closer to the FEBA becomes 


Order of Battle 

K nowing how. when, 
and where to commit 
your forces to battle 
is certainly one of the most 
fundamental concepts oper- 
ating in PEOPLE'S GENERAL. 
Unless the enemy's disposi- 
tions and strength have 
already been determined, 
it's always a good idea to 
scout out the terrain situat- 
ed along the axis of 
advance, thereby avoiding 
any traps or nasty surprises 
that may be lying in wait. 





r hile aerial reconnaissance is Ideal, over- 
flights will also cost you valuable air mission 


B ecause tiie spotting rules have been 
changed significantly since Panzer 


points eadi time you execute them. Aerial recon- GENERAL II, you should use your reconnais- 


naissance should instead be used to reconnoiter 
the enemy's rear areas, searching for potential 
drop sites for your air-mobile forces. 


sance vehicles to locate and ascertain the 
strength of the enemy forces before initiating 
any otiier movement or attacks. 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD « DECEMBER 1998 






PEOPLE'S GENERAL 


a very effective means of seizing a vital objec- 
tive toward the end of a scenario, especially if 
a player may not have enough units on the 
map to get the job done under the prescribed 
time limit. 

Reconnaissance units are equally important 
units to have on hand. First off, they're capable 
of spotting enemy units your main force may 
not be able to observe. More importantly, how- 
ever, reconnaissance units act as a screen for 
other friendly units operating nearby. So, while 
the enemy may be able to see a recon unit 
operating within range of his forces, he may 
have no idea that other enemy units are, in 


fact, dose by, hidden from view by the recon 
unit. It should, however, be pointed out that 
the further a friendly unit is from the recon 
unit, the more likely it will be spotted by 
enemy units. 

One last point: While it may seem as if your 
forces are firing blindly at unknown or spotted 
enemy units, you can determine the amount of 
damage your troops are inflicting simply by 
watching the upper information bar. The 
results for each attack will be posted in the 
upper right-hand corner, which will give you 
some indication as to whether or not your 
attack has succeeded. 


R emember tiiat reconnaissance vehi- 
cles can conduct staggered move- 
ment each turn, moving, locating, and 
identifying enemy formations, then with- 
drawing before they themselves are 
spotted and subjected to enemy fire. 


O nce the enemy's positions have been 
ascertained, artillery should be 
brought to bear to soften up the enemy's 
defenses. Plan on eliminating the enemy's 
air defenses first, since this will let your 
attack helicopters swoop in to provide 
standoff fire against the enemy's artillery 
and armor. You can also laundi a couple of 
air strikes to pummel enemy artillery bat- 
teries, troop concentrations, and units 
guarding nearby victory objectives. Don't 
forget that air strikes and artillery missions 
reduce the enemy's entrendiment level by 
one each time they're employed. Next, have 
your antitank units move up to within fir- 
ing range of the enem/s armored units. 


Ideally, these units should fire from 
extreme range (typically two hexes) in 
order to avoid enemy return fire. 

N ow it's time for your own armor to 
roll up and eliminate any remaining 
armored units. In some instances, it may 
be better to use ranged fire (two or 
more hexes away) against file enemy 
rather than initiate a close assault Also 
take this opportunity to overrun any 
enemy infanfry units that may be 
deployed in clear terrain. If the opportu- 
nity presents itself, engage weaker 
enemy infantry units first since your 
tanks may be able to move and fire a 
second time against nearby enemy units. 
Finally, have your infantry units, includ- 
ing the engineers, move up, eliminating 


any remaining pockets of resistance. 
Bear in mind that light infantry units will 
ignore an enemy unifs zone of control 
while engineer units will ignore an 
enemy unifs entrenchment level during 
an attack. 


GRUNTS GET THE DIRTY WORK After armor has cleared the open ground, infantry, 
backed up by artillery, begins the arduous process of rooting out this city's defenders. 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998, 


Panzer Commander 

Winning on a Tread and a Prayer 


by Patrick C. Miller 

M ost tank simulations 
from Ml TANK 
PLATOON onward put 
gamers in the role of 
task force commander, 
giving them the ability 
not only to fight from 
within a tank, but also 
to issue orders to supporting air, 
tank, infantry, artillery, and antitank 
units, In these games, it's possible 
to win with little or no involvement 
in combat from the first-person 
perspeaive. 

Not so in SSI's PANZER COM- 
MANDER. As the leader of a WWII 
tank platoon, you can't depend on 
friendly support units to carry the 
battle. If you die, the battle is over. 
How you handle your platoon and 
fight from your tank are the most 



over to their virtual 
crew members. 
Unfortunately, this 
is the shortest path 
to Valhalla. 

One of the 
game’s strengths is 
its terrain model- 
ing. which enables 
minor dips and 
folds in the ground 
to conceal potential 
threats, even in rel- 
atively flat desert 
terrain. If unseen 
enemy units always 
destroy your tank, 
it's probably 
because you 
bypassed them, 
providing an easy 
shot against your 
tank's vulnerable 



I n their quest to overrun France in 
1940, PANZER COMMANDER gamers 
attempting the Grossdeutschland cam- 
paign will run into French-built 
Renault R-35 tanks. These tanks 
appear to be invulnerable to rounds 
from the 37mm gun on the Pz 38(t)A 
and the short 75mm gun on the Pz 
Mark IV. In fact, the R-35s can be 
killed at ranges under 400 meters. The 
trick is to hit them in the front hull, 
where their armor is thinnest. That's 
right, the thinnest armor on this tank 
is on its front. Hits anywhere else will 
simply bounce off. 


important factors for 
success. Therefore, you 
need to focus on what's 
happening in the imme- 
diate vicinity of your 
platoon, using your 
tank's main gun to 
extend its sphere of 
influence and its sec- 
ondary machine guns 
to take out nearby tar- 
gets of opportunity. 

Keep Your 
Head Up 

In air-to-air combat, 
situational awareness is 
critical, and the same is 
true for the ground 
combat in PANZER 
COMMANDER, Where 
are the enemy tanks 
and antitank weapons? 

Perhaps the greatest 
challenge for gamers 
who've become accus- 
tomed to other tank 


simulations is having to 


See the Review 


AUGUST ISSUE • 4 STARS 


adjust to PANZER COMMANDER'S 
style of play. At the game's highest 
realism settings, you simply can't 



HULL DOWN This gunsight view illustrates 
the advantage of being hull down behind a 
hill. With only a small portion of your tank's 
turret showing, you're harder to hit and 
tougher to kill. 


win consistently 
by playing the 
game buttoned 
up and staring at 
the map or from 
behind the gun- 
ner's sight. 

Instead, as pla- 
toon comman- 
der, it's your 
responsibility to 
take control of 
the situation 
around you by 
spotting targets, 
assessing 
threats, making 
targeting decisions, and maneuver- 
ing appropriately, if you don’t, you 
won't be around to tell the grand- 
kids what you did in the war. 

This means you’ve got to get 
your head out of the turret and 
constantly scan in all directions to 
spot new threats and potential tar- 
gets. The mistake many players 
make is in believing that they can 
concentrate on shooting their 
tank's main gun while turning the 
duties of driving, scouting, target 
spotting, and threat assessment 


flank or rear armor. For this reason, 
your head must be out of the tank 
and on a swivel. Although you are 
most interested in what's in front 
of your tank, never assume that 
your flanks are secure. 

In addition, once a target is 
spotted, don't fixate on it to the 
point of ignoring greater threats, 
especially when the selected target 
isn't of immediate danger. Use the 
Tab key to cycle through all spotted 
targets and then engage the most 


COMPUTER GA/WNG WORLD * DECEMBER 1998 



PANZER COMMANDER 


U.S. Tank 



Horse- 

Weight 

Hull 

Turret 

Main 

Elevation/ 

Turret 

TVpe 

(Mo./Yr.) 

(mph) 

power 

(Tons) 

Armor 

Armor 

Gun 

Depression 

Traverse 

'' M4A3 

IMH R/47 

; 25/10 

500 1 

31 

70/53/53 

105/70/70 

75mm 

+257-10* 

40*/sec. 

M4A3E2 

7/44 

21/7 

500 

37 

143/106/53 

213/213/213 

75mm 

+25'’/-10’ 

24“/sec. 

M4A3E8 

9/44 

" 26/10 

500 it 

32 

87/53/53 

87/87/87 

76mm 

+25’’/-10‘’ 

30®/sec. 

M24 

12/44 

34/12 

220 r 

17.5 

35/35/18 

35/35/35 

75mm 

+157-10* 

367sec. 

M26 


22/6 

i 

\ 500 1 

42 

; 143/106/71 

143/106/106 

90mm 

+207-10’ 

277sec 

Speed = Top Road Speed/Lowest Off-Road Speed Weight = Metric Tons 

Hull Armor = Effective Front/Side/Rear in mm’ Turret Armor = Effective Front/Side/Rear in mm* 

’Note: Sloped armor values represent the approximate effective armor thicknesses used in Panzer COMMANDER rather than the actual historical values. 


dangerous threat first. If there are 
multiple threats capable of 
destroying your tank, it's best to 
run for the nearest cover and plot 
a new course of action. 

Maneuver Combat 

While Greyhound might want 
you to "leave the driving to us," 
turning your driving duties over 
to the Al isn't a good idea in 
PANZER COMMANDER. The virtual 
drivers always attempt to follow 
suggested waypoints — which 
usually means driving directly 
into areas where you'll encounter 
the most resistance and the 
greatest danger. 


Early in a mission, it's a good 
idea to spend a minute or two 
studying the map, preferably in a 
safe location. This will help you 
get your bearings. On missions in 
which your platoon must cover a 
lot of ground, take an occasional 
glance at the map to make sure 
you're on course and to spot 
areas you must capture (shown 
as yellow blocks). 

When you attack, always look 
for opportunities to outflank the 
enemy's defenses. Antitank 
emplacements have a 90-degree 
field of fire to their front (45 
degrees each side of center). Thus, 
when you're faced with numerous 



IVAN'S ILLUSION The KV series of Soviet heavy tanks are a 
menacing sight witii 76.2mm guns and thick armor, but their 
limited gun depression puts them at a distinct disadvantage in 
some situations. 





B y using a relatively inexpensive four-button joystick 
equipped with a hat switch and remapping a few key- 
board commands, you can improve your response time in 
tight situations. For example, a joystick setup to assist with 
gunnery is: 

Fires main gun 
Fires coaxial machine gun 
Gunner's sight 2.5x view 
Gunner's sight 5x view 
j Adjusts cross-hairs ranging 
- Elevates gun, depresses gun, 
and traverses turret 

In the unbuttoned, binocular, and external views, the joy- 
stick's hat switch can be used to rapidly pan the view 360 
degrees around the tank or to look up or down, greatly aid- 
ing in spotting targets. If you're buttoned up in the com- 
mander's station, the hat switch will pan the view through 
the cupola viewport. 

Bringing the tank to an immediate halt to fire an accu- 
rate shot depends on bei ng able to quickly press the brake 
key. If the defautt£]^^^key is too cumbersome, remap 
the keyboard commands to make thc^^^^the brake 
command, When the joystick is used for gunnery, the space 
bar becomes superfluous for firing the main gun. 

If you keep one hand on the joystick and the other on 
the keyboard, it becomes much easier to coordinate spot- ! 
ting, maneuver, and use your gunnery. On the move, use 
keyboard commands to speed up, slow down, or stop the 
tank. From the unbuttoned or external view, keep your 
thumb on the joystick's hat switch to constantly scan the 
|V area to the front and around your tank. 


British Tanks J 

Available 

(Mo./Yr.) 


Speed 

(mph) 

Horse- 

power 

Weight 

(Tons) 

Hull 

Armor 

Turret 

Armor 

Main 

Gun 

Elevation/ 

Depression 

Turret 

Traverse 

Matilda il 

1/40 


13/4 

380 

27 

75/70/55 

78/57/57 

2 pounder 

+28*/-11’ 

17*/sec 

Crusader 1 

3/41 

v 

I 

26/7 

340 

19 

40/27/30 

40/30/30 

2 pounder 

+28*/-ir 

30*/sec. 

Valentine " - 

3/42 

I 

14/4 

131 

19 

91/60/60 

91/60/60 

6 pounder 

+20*/-5* 

24*/5ec. 

Churchill iV < 

8/42 


15/4 

350 

40 

102/74/70 

102/74/70 

6 pounder 

+20*/-12* 

24*/sec. 

Cromwell VII ''-'r?- 

6/44 

< 

29/8 

600 

28.5 

101/56/51 

101/56/51 

75mm 

+28’/-11* 

24*/sec. 

Firefly 'i 

6/44 

) 

22/7 

500 

34 

71/53/53 

106/71/71 

17 pounder 

+15*/-10* 

27*/sec. 

Comet ^ ,l 

4/45 

1 

28/8 

600 

; 36 

101/50/50 

101/50/50 

77mm 

+207-12* 

20®/sec 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD « DECEMBER 




PANZER COMMANDER 


"ierman Tanks 





Hull 




Turret 

Type 

(Mo./Yr.) 

fmph) 

power 

(Tons) 

Armor 

Armor 

Gun 

Depression 

Traverse 

1 Pz38(t)A ifO, 

if'. 1/39 

25/9 

125 

10 

25/18/18 

25/25/25 

37mm 

+257-10" 

32"/sec. 

1 pz ivD 

f 1/40 

n 24/5 

300 

20 

30/20/20 

30/20/20 

75mm L/24 

+207-8* 

24"/sec. 

j Pz IIIG . !| 

7/40 

i 24/5 

300 

20 

30/30/30 

37/30/30 

SOmm L/42 

+20“/-10" 

30®/sec. 

Pz liiL > : 

6/42 

1 24/6 

300 ! 

22 ! 

70/30/53 

70/30/30 

50mm L/60 

+207-10" 

277sec. 

Pz IVH 

8/42 

23/5 

. 300 • 

' 25 : 

80/30/30 

80/30/30 

75mm L/48 

+20"/-8" 

12"/sec. 

Panther G 

1/44 

28/7 

690 

! 45 

' 112/70/56 

168/70/70 

75mm U70 

+18"/-8" 

20*/sec, 

Tiger 1 

3/44 

23/6 

700 

55 

100/80/82 

110/80/80 

88mm L/56 

+10"/-9" 

12"/sec. 

Tiger M ^ 

12/44 

23/5 

600 

70 

210/112/112 

259/112/112 

88mm L/71 

+15"/-7" 

18"/sec. 



Should You Upgrade? 


A S time progresses in campaign games, 
you're occasionally asked if you want to 
upgrade to a new or improved tank. 
Think carefully before making this decision. 
Some "upgrades" require you to sacrifice advan- 
tages you might prefer to keep. For example, 
during the Soviet 12th Guards campaign, you 
can upgrade from the KV-1/42 to the KV-1S. The 


antitank emplacements, the in- 
direct approach is always better. 

Divide and Slaughter 

Whether attacking or defending, 
you should always try to take on 
enemy units a few at a time, Use 
hills, valleys, and forests to screen 
your movement and to limit how 
many enemy units can see you at 
any one time. Slowly ease your 
way over hills to spot threats on 
the opposite side before moving 
through unscouted areas. Avoid 
"skylining" tanks in your pla- 
toon — the practice of moving 
along the highest point of a crest 
or hill, which endangers your tank 
by silhouetting it against the sky. 

Always be on the lookout for 
terrain behind which your entire 
platoon can be deployed to fight 
from hull-down positions. That is, 
the tank's turret and gun should 
peek over the top while its hull 
remains hidden. Walls, hills, and 
low rises work best for this tactic. 


flanks and rear. Look for a spot 
that enables you to anchor at least 
one flank on an area that’s difficult 
to maneuver through or around. 
Again, fight from hull-down posi- 
tions whenever possible. 

Once contact with the enemy is 
made, the best approach is usually 
a cautious advance that enables 
you to engage and destroy targets 
one at a time. However, there are 
times when getting from Point A to 
Point B means exposing your pla- 
toon to enemy fire. In these 
instances, a mad dash at top speed 
is in order. Make a few zigzags to 
throw off enemy aim and make 
use of cover as much as possible. 

Learn to recognize terrain such 
as mud, ice, and steep slopes that 
slow your movement to a crawl. 
Not only do you risk being caught 
in the open with no chance to run 
for cover, but you also hurt your 
chances for completing a mission 
on time. 


S model is faster, but sacrifices a significant 
amount of armor for increased speed. Near the 
end of the 12th Guards campaign, you can 
switch to the mighty IS-2, a fairly mobile tank 
with a huge gun and thick armor. Unfortunately, 
this beast carries a pitifully small load of ammu- 
nition, a distinct drawback on longer missions. 
You might want to seriously consider sticking 
with the KV-85. 


Practice the maneuver by observ- 
ing through the unzoomed gun- 
sight view (F6) as your tank slowly 
climbs the crest of a hill. The 
moment you can see over the 
other side, hit the brakes. 

When defending, don't be con- 
tent to sit in one place. Many 
times, enemy units will attack from 
more than one direction. Move to 
a position that enables your tank 
to engage a few attackers at a 
time and that provides cover to the 


Fire Combat 

In PANZER COMMANDER, shoot- 
ing the big gun is the most fun. 
Although the Al gunners usually do 
a competent job of engaging and 
destroying targets, few players are 
content to delegate this duty to 
their crew. The joy of putting steel 
on target and turning enemy tanks 
into smoldering scrap metal is 
what this game is all about. 

But shooting the gun is one 
thing, and doing it well is another. 


Soviet Tanks . 





Hull 





Type 

(Mo./Yr.) 

(mph) 

power 

(Tons) 

Armor 

Armor 

Gun 

Depression 

Traverse 


H 6/35 

5 52/11 

j 500 ^ 

14 ! 

: 18/18/18 

18/18/18 

45mm 

+40"/-10" 

30"/sec. 

i KV-IC 

f 1/42 

? 17/4 

; 600 

47 I 

■ 110/120/90 : 

120/120/90 

76.2mm 

+30"/-3" 

17"/sec. 

1 T-34C 

s 1/42 

[• 33/9 

f 450 ^ 

31 j 

. 66/84/66 . 

98/73/74 

76.2mm 

+30"/-3" 

36"/sec. 

I KV-85 ! 

[ 9/43 

; 24/6 

^ 600 ; 

46 ! 

. 75/60/60 ■ 

160/110/100 

85mm 

+30"/-3" 

12*/sec. 

' IS-2 '-i;;-; 

K 1/44 

i 22/6 

li 600 

46 j 

120/95/60 , 

160/110/100 

122mm 

+30"/-3" 

127sec. 

( T-34/85 

1 3/44 

33/10 

500 

32 i 

66/84/66 ; 

126/105/84 

85mm 

+30"/-3" 

17"/sec. 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


PANZER COMMANDER 


Relative Armor Penetration Values, Main Cuns 


76.2mmF-34 

1 APHE/APDS 

I 69/92 

61/60 : 

54/- 1 

85 mm ZiS S-53 „ 

i APHE/APDS 

i 111/138 

102/100 

93/- 

122 mm D-25T 

] APHE/HEAT 

: 145/200 

145/200 ! 


Weapon 


Projectile Type 

457 meters 

@ 30° slope 

914 meters 
@ 30° slope 

1,372 meters 
@ 30° slope 

37 mm M6 


> APC-M51 

53 

46 1 

i « ^ 

75 mm M6 


' APC-M61 

66 

60 1 


76 mm Ml 


^ APC-M62 

93 : 

88 

! 82 ! 

90 mm M3 


APC-M82/HVAP 

129/221 V! 

122/199 

! 114/176 i 





UNSAFE HOUSE These two Pantiiers thought they were safely 
under cover behind a house in front of them. Machine-gun fire 
brought down the house, exposing the Panthers. Before they 
could react, both were destroyed by a T-34/85. 


You should familiarize yourself 
with the performance of the gun 
your tank carries (see chart). Being 
able to hit an enemy vehicle means 
little if your gun can't penetrate its 
armor. The armor penetrating 
power of your tank's gun deter- 
mines whether you can engage in 
long-range, straight-up shootouts 
or whether you should maneuver 
for a close flank or rear shot. 

Some guns, particularly on early- 
war tanks, fire rounds at such low 
velocities, their effective range is 
500 meters or less. For them, using 
the rangefinder in the 5x (F7) view 


to dial in the correct range is 
almost a must. As the war pro- 
gressed, most nationalities adopted 
larger-caliber, high-velocity guns 
that fired on flatter trajectories out 
to ranges of 1,500 meters and 
beyond, the German 88mm being 
the most famous example. 

Make It Snappy 

One valuable tank gunnery tech- 
nique is firing snap shots. Some- 
times you'll find yourself in a situa- 
tion in which enemy vehicles or 
antitank emplacements are so 
close and threatening that there is 


63 

120/176 

no time use the rangefinder, in 
faa, using the 5x magnification 
view for close targets can be dis- 
orienting and waste precious time. 

Instead, switch immediately to 
the 2.5x (F6) gunsight, which offers 
a wider view, making it easier to 
quickly locate nearby targets. 
Although, there is no rangefinder 
in this view, the basic reticule is 
quite effective for close-range 
shooting, especially If your tank is 
equipped with a high-velocity gun. 
Simply point and shoot. With prac- 
tice, you'll find that you can shoot 
quickly and accurately by estimat- 
ing the proper lead and elevation. 

Because WWII tanks don't have 
the gun stabilization and fire con- 
trol systems that make modern 


tanks fire-on-the-move marvels, 
shooting accurately means having 
to fire while stationary. However, 
there are times when firing on the 
move is required to deal with a 
well-positioned enemy gun or 
vehicle behind a hedge, forest, or 
hill. In such a case, it's important 
to line up the target and correctly 
time your approach. 

Enemy vehicles behind cover 
will almost always fire before they 
can actually hit your tank. 
Therefore, by having your gun 
aimed toward the enemy unit and 
advancing slowly to keep your 
gunsight picture fairly stable, you 
can often emerge from behind 
cover while the opposing vehicle is 
busy reloading, in this situation, 
you must make your first shot 
count. If you miss, you're dead. 

Also, don't neglect to use your 
tank's coaxial machine gun. It's 
very good for taking out sand- 
bagged infantry and antitank 
emplacements within a few hun- 
dred meters of your tank. In addi- 
tion, you can use it to knock down 
buildings that enemy vehicles are 
hiding behind. Have your finger on 
the main gunfire button to instant- 
ly pump an armor-piercing round 
into your surprised enemy. 

Although air support, artillery, 
and infantry are part of PANZER 
COMMANDER, it is neither a game 
about WWII combined-arms tactics 
nor a game that enables players to 
duplicate the exploits of the war's 
great task force and kampfgruppe 
commanders. It's a game that's 
unabashedly about tanks and what 
it's like to command from the tur- 
ret of a lumber- 
ing iron beast. 
The sooner you 
can put yourself 
in that frame of 
mind, the better 
player you'll 
become. 233 


TERRAIN MASKING Using terrain effectively is 
a major part of the game. Here, two T-34/85S 
conceal themselves behind buildings in hopes 
of luring German Panthers into a trap. 


Thanks to Rick 
Martinez of SSI 
for his help in 
compiling data 
(especially 
charts) for this 
article -Ed. 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER 1998 


A 




C^yi/IER'S BDCB 


EZZS 


CHEAT CODES HINTS WALKTHROUGHS 



A lot of gamers I know obsess 
over reputation in MIGHT & 

MAGIC VI. While this is commend- 
able up to a point, reputation is 
only important for two things in 
the game. You must be saintly to 
become a Light master and noto- 
rious to become a Dark master. 

It's easy to become saintly. 

Donate at temples to get your 
reputation up to respectable (or 
better), Then complete several 
council or promotional quests in a 
short period of time. If you're 
dose to saintly, pick up a bard or 
other reputation-boosting NPC. 




Becoming notorious is very easy, 
providing you're willing to kill inno- 
cent peasants. If casual murder is a 
bit much for your piaying style, per- 
forming enough of the following 
actions will sufficiently lower your 
reputation; 

• Donating and healing at the 
temples of Baa 

• Selling bones 

• Returning the candelabra 


• Completing the price-fixing 
quest 

• Raiding the sarcophagi in Castle 
Darkmoor 

• Performing the ritual and 
touching the Baa face in the 
Superior Temple of Baa 

• Letting the figure in Castle 
Kriegspire heal your party 

Note: If your reputation is too 
scandalous, a few key characters in 
the game either will not speak to you 
or will throw you in jail if you visit 
them. On the other hand, it can be a 
lot of fun to play from the dark side. 


Simulations/Space yr 


X-COM INTERCEPTOR 


To activate cheats in MicroProse's latest space 
sim, do the following; 

First, press Ctrl-W. 

When you hear the low double beep tone, type 
in battlecheat to enable in-flight cheats. 

Then type canttouchthis for invincibility, 
or fillerup for unlimited flight range. 

— Terry Coleman 



what you need to do, they may be 


All those peasants 
milling around towns 
and in houses are 
really available for 
hire. While they all 
cost some gold, non- 
player characters 
(NPCs) can provide a 
lot of bang for the buck. 
Particularly valuable are NPCs that 
boost your party's merchant skill 
(merchants, dupers), the amount 
of experience you earn from com- 
bat (teachers, instructors), spell 
skills (spell masters, mystics), 
weapon skills (arms masters, 
weapons masters), and the 
amount of money you find (fac- 
tors, bankers). Other NPCs are of 
more limited benefit, but depend- 
ing on the makeup of your party, 
the stage of its development, and 


worth checking out. 

Just make sure that you don't 
hire two NPCs of the same type. 
Two bankers, for example, double 
your cost, but only provide the 
benefit of one banker, instead, 
hire two NPCs of different types 
that provide the same sort of ben- 
efit, such as one factor and one 
banker. Since NPCs change fre- 
quently, you should be able to 
find the ones you seek. 

— Petra Schlunk 


GET MEDIEVAL 

Yes, it's Gauntlet for the '90s, and you knew the 
game had to have cheats, So, without further ado: 
Code Effect 

mpkfa God mode 

mppos Global position 

mpfps Frames per second 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECE/VIBER 1998 








COMMANDOS: BEHIND ENEMY LINES 

If some of the 
tougher missions in 
COMMANDOS leave 
you feeling like an 
unwashed member of 
the Dirty Dozen, try 
these codes. 

After beginning the 
game, type 
198260NZ0, 
then type one of the 
following: 


Code Effect 

Shift-X Selected commando is teleported to chosen location 

Shift-N All objects in your field of view are displayed 

Shift-Ctrl-N Jumps you to the next mission 

Ctrl-I Your commandos are now invulnerable 

-Terry Colemerj 

MECHCOMMANDER 

Having a Mech- 
sized headache trying 
to win later missions 
in MECHCOMMANDER? 

These cheats can 
improve your score in 
a hurry, but be careful. 

None of the codes 
have been thoroughly 
tested by FASA or 
MicroProse (they 
won't handle tech sup- 
port calls on cheats), 
and we'll tell you from experience, some of them — particularly osmium and 
Ctrl-Alt-W— v\nll crash your system if you rely on them too much. So, as always, 
make sure to back up your save-game files before trying these out, and don't 
say we didn't warn you! 

It takes a little effort to activate the cheats: 

1 . Update to MECHCOMMANDER version 1 .8. 

2. Find the windows.fit file in the directory where you installed 
MECHCOMMANDER (the default directory is C;\Program 
Files\Fasalttteractive\MechCmdr) 

3. Rename windows. fit as ixtiriimceourl, which is the secret file needed to 
enable the cheats. 

4. Type in the codes during the proper phase as shown below. 

The following cheats must be typed in during the Logistics Phase; 

Code Effect 

poundofflesh Adds 1 ,000,000 resource points 

rockandrollpeople Removes drop weight limit on current mission 

The following cheats must be typed in during each mission: 


TRIBAL RAGE 

Don t worry about moving 
credits around to the region 
that will launch an attack. The 
game gives you an average 
amount based on the number 
of credits divided by the num- 
ber of regions you hold. 

The Al launches attacks 
piecemeal, so putting up a 
few defensive hardpoints or 
tripods pays big dividends. You can then build up your main force in 
the rear, and not have to constantly resupply the front lines. 

One important tech to buy is the ammo pack, which gives your 
units longer legs in the attack. 

When moving a truck carrying mining gear, don't right-click, or 
the truck will plant the mine right there, even if no ore is present — 
and you'll be out 3,000 credits. — Loyd Case 


Ctri-Alt-W 

osmium 

lorrie 

lordbunny 


mineeyeshave 

seentheglory 

deadeye 


Jumps to mission successful screen 
Makes your Mechs and vehicles invincible. 

Repairs damaged armor/weapons 

Gives you unlimited, instantaneous artillery strikes 

(Press b and left-click to nuke the target) 

Reveals the entire map 

Max out gunnery skills on all MechWarriors 

—Terry Colemar) 


NAM 

We tried to warn you in our review last month. But if 
you'd already bought NAM by then, you'd probably like to fin- 
ish it now. With that in mind, here are some helpful tips: 

1. The first trick to making it through each mission is to 
save early, save often. You're going to die a lot. Get used to it. 

2. Work the flanks. Never approach a location over open 
ground. This is especially true when assaulting beaches or 
fortified positions. 

3. Pay attention to sound. Most radio messages warn of 
an impending attack, and the sound of people conversing in 
Vietnamese is always bad. You can usually hear artillery and 
air strikes on their way in, allowing you time to take cover. 

4. Use your grunts well. They provide covering fire and 
medical assistance (among other things), but you can't rely 
on them to survive in a hostile environment, if you think they 
will die uselessly, and if you want their assistance later, con- 
sider ordering them to stay in cover until you need them, 

5. Don't try to kill everything in sight. Keep moving, use 
cover wisely, and work your way directly toward your objec- 
tive. if you're under fire and can't immediately identify where 
the threat is coming from, or if it's coming from several direc- 
tions, get under cover before worrying about shooting back. 
Don't stand and slug it out. If possible, let the VC come to 
you, then pick them off one at a time. — Tirr) Carter 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD • DECEMBER 199 8 439 . 




'JANE’S WORLD WAR II 
FIGHTERS’ Fly the 7 best 
tighters ol WWII with 
unprecedented effects, 
terrain, & aircraft detail. 
Contains training mis- 
sions. variable difficulty 
levels, a branching cam- 
paign, realistic flight 
dynamics, & sophisticat- 
ed At. Planes break apart, 
awesome crashes & 
explosions, with realistic 
clouds, smoke, & fire. 
Virtual 3-0 cockpits with 
v/orking dials. 


EA (Simulation) 
Release: 10/98 
PC CD 




'SAITEK R4 FORCE FEEDBACK 
RACING WHEEL & PEDALS' is 
the most advanced racing system 
on the market. Everything is 
vrhere it needs to be and 
designed to be comfortable even 
after hours of driving. The Force 
Feedback version also provides a 
tactile response lo collisions, the 
road surface and ofher in-game 
factors for the ultimate driving 
experience. 

Saitek (Hardware) 

Release: 10/98 ~ 

PC 


'LUFTWAFFE COMMANDER’ Fly 
the work-horse of the Luftwaffe, 
the Me-109. There are 10 llyable 
planes and 58 planes In all. 
Includes 50 single player mis- 
sions and a "Custom Combat' 
option. Career-mode combat (sin- 
gle player only) will span Spain, 
France, Great Britain. Russia, and 
Germany. Multi-player mode (up 
to 10 players) via modem, direct 
connect, LAN, or the Internet. 

SSI (Simulalion) 

' Release: 11/98 
PC CD 


faster! The 
supercars vs. muscle cars from 
the past continues. Now with 28 
cars & 17 tracks. Features an 

Ing single car competition & 
tiple leagues. New cop chase 
mode & split screen lor head-to- 
head competition. Includes 3 
difficulty levels, customizable 
vehicles, and arcade mode. 

EA (Slmulation)p(; 

Release: 11/98 
PC CD PSX 



I 'NHL HOCKEY 99' All new Skal- 

I Ing and goalie animation mollor- 
I captured into the game by NHL 
players. Complete 1997-98 sea- 
son statistics & updated 1998 
rosters. A new beginner level. 
Analog slick control. Accelerated 
3-0 support. Six gameplay 
modes: exhibition, season, 
oils, tournament, shoolou 
Marc Crav/tord coaching 
Multiple game strategies. 

EA Sports pc-PS) 

I Sports 

Release: NOW N64 



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Hidden Wars 
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Homeworld 
Impetlalrsm 2 
Incubatron 

IncuOationiWildeiness 
Industry Glani 
Jaggd Aline Ddly Game 
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KKND2 
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03/98 339.99 
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01/96 329.99 
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LEDWars 10/98 
Legend ol the Five Rings 12/99 
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Myth 


11/97 


Myth 2 
Qulposl 2 
Pax imperia 2 
Populous 3 
Railroad Tycoon 2 
Reach lor Stars 2 
Rebellion W/ Stral 
Revolution 
RoboRumbie 
Rulhless.com 
SWAT 2 

Sentinel Returns 
Settlers 2 Gold 
Seiners 3 
Seven KingdmsAncAdv 0698 
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SlmCity3000 1098 

Soldiers at War 0598 


341.99 

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Slar Trek Birth Fed 
Star Trek: New Worlds I 

SiaiTrkSiailiiComm 
SlarCon l 

Slarcrall I 

SlarcrafI Srood Wars 
Slarcrall 8ni Chest 
Siaicrati Relirbulion 
Slarcrall Slllr Forces 
Stars Twrnpack I 

Siraiosphete i 

Total Annihilation 
Total Annitn Cf Ctgcy i 

Toll Annhitn Bill Teles r 

Total Annhlin Kingdoms < 

Total Annlh War Chest l 

Transport Tycoon DIx l 

Tribal Rage i 

Uprising 2 
War ol the Worlds 
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Wargames i 

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COMPUTER GAMES: WAR 


ROLE PLAYING | [ PC: ADULT GAMES 


iteal Battles Caesar 

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01/98 

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05/96 

05/99 

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11/97 

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03/98 

03/98 

06/97 

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07/99 


335.99 

339.99 

344.99 
32799 

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318.99 
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341.99 
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346.99 

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Harpoon 97 
Medieval 
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NonhVs. Soutn 
Opei Art Wat Pk 1-2 ea 
Opettronl Ait of War 
Over the Reich 
Pacilrc General Budget 
Pacrirc Tide 
Panzer General 3 
People's General 
Road to Moscow 
Semper Fi 

Sid Meier's Geltysbrg 
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Sieel Panthers Arsenal 
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11/96 329.99 
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Call ol Clhuihu 
Conspiracy X 
Cybeipunk 2020 
Dragonlance 5lh Age 
Ealhdawn 
Fading Suns 
GURPS Rulebook 
Heavy Gear 
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Mechwairlor 
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Rills 

RobolECh 

Shadowiun 2nd Ed. 
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0295 318.99 
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Aladdin 8 Cityol Sin 
Arabian Nighis 
Babe Patrol 
Calchin Xylie 
Cyber Photographer 
Diva X Taylor 
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Dream Machine 2 
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Net EioiiQue 
Nightwalch Int 3 
Romsolt Three Pack 
Sex With Farrah 
Space Sirens 2 
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Ultra Vixen 2 
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Virtual Valerie 2 
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COMPUTER GAMES: ROLEPLAYING ~| BOARD 'iS^iViEg* 


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1098 344 99 Ultima 9 Ascension 1296 

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0699 343.99 Ultima Online: 2nd Age 1098 

0998 $25 99 Wizardry 8 0299 

1097 319 99 Wizardry Gold W95 0596 


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Advanced Squad Le 
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Axis & Allies 
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Circus Maximus 
Empire Builder 


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‘TOMB RAIDER III’ Lara’s oil to even more exotic locations this time 
around, from the blistering deserts ol India to the lush islands of the 
I South Pacific. Now you can choose your destiny by selecting Ihe order 
I In which you play each of Ihe tour adventures. Revamped game engine. 
; new reflection system, vastly improved Al, new sgecial^eflects (rain, 
I snow, fire, S more). PC CD- 


> Eidos (Action) 

' Release; 11/98 


PSX4 


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‘MirrH II; SOULBLIGHTER' is the 
sequel to the hugely popular 
Myth: The Fallen Lords, & features 
an Improved engine with animated 
3-0 models, 4x liner terrain mash, 
& nev/ lighting model. New special 
elfects include 3-D tire, ambient 
life, & powerful new spells. Also 
includes improved pathlinding, Al, 
S new units S terrain. More net 
fun with Individual & team rank- 
ings and In-game alliances. 

Bungle (Strategy) 
Release^ 






'BALDUR'S GATE’ Is set in the 
legendary Forgotten Realms cam- 
paign world. It features a trans- 
parent interlace and gameplay 
that uses a real-time modification 
ol the Advanced Dungeons & 
Dragons rules system. There are 
over 60 monsters to fight, you 
control a party ol six each with 


Interplay (Raleplaying) 

Release; 11/98 
PC CD 

'TRESPASSERiJURASSIC PARK' 
This Is a complex world of real 
time and real physics. In a simu- 
lation where every object and 
creature Is a physically modeled 
entity, you will learn to survive by 
Improvisation, daring, and sheer 
will. You will scale tov/ering cliffs 
and plunge into the darkest jun- 
gles. You will penetrate silent, 
hidden groves, and explore vistas 
ol stunning beauty. 

Mlcrosolt (Action) 

'SIN' As the leader of HARD- 
CORPS sec-force, armed with an 
array of weaponry and pitted 
against mean and ugly mutants, 
you must infiltrate the drug circuit 
and bring It's master mind to jus- 
tice. Driveable vehicles, seamless 
multi-player gameplay over LAN. 
modem, or Internet. Quake 3D 
Engine 
& wate 

Activision (Action) 

‘WEST FRONT' is a fast paced, 
platoon-level game ol WWII tacti- 
cal combat. Piay in Campaign, 
random battle, or preset scenario 
format. New mission types & 
character promotions, new terrain 
features, 50 new scenarios. 6 new 
Campaign games. & 16 player 
Inlernet/LAN mode. Full-function 
map & scenario editors let you 
create battles from a database of 
5Q0 equipment & unit types. 

Talonsoft (War) 






CGW'S MONTHLY READERS' POLL 


E ach month, 2,000 CGV^ subscribers are selected at random to rate 1 00 computer games. The results of that poll are combined 
with the results of previous months to yield a cumulative average for the best plays in gaming. If you receive a ballot, please 
return it with your ratings so that other gamers and game publishers can benefit from your feedback. 


I TOP ACTION GAMES 

r 1 

1 

Quake II 

id Software 

8.54 

4S 

i 2 

3 

Quake Pack It Scourne 

id Software/Ritual 

R.S? 

4.5 


4 

Quake Pack 2: Dissolution 

id Software/RoQue 

8.52 

5 

4 

5 

Jedi Kniaht: Dark Forces II 

LucasArts 

8.51 

4.5 

I ^ 

2 

Unreal 

GT Interactive 

8.40 

4 

I ^ 

6 

Jedi Kniaht: Mysteries 

LucasArts 

8.35 

4 

7 

8 

Tomb Raider 

Eidos 

7.9? 

4 

R 

in 

Moto Racer 

£A 

7 87 

4 

9 

_ 

Battlezone 

Activision 

7.73 

5 

10 

- 

Tomb Raider II 

Eidos 

7.71 

4 


1 TOP ADVENTURE GAMES 


— Sanitarium 

ASC Games 

8.43 

4,5 

Sbl 2 

1 Curse of Monkev Island 

LucasArts 

8.31 

5 

3 

3 Twinsen's Odvssev 

Activision 

7.65 

5 

4 

2 Blade Runner 

WestwoodATiroin 

7.61 

45 

5 

4 Zork Grand Inauisitor 

Activision 

7.58 

N/R 

6 

5 Last Exoress 

Broderbund 

7.46 

45 

7 

7 The Neverhood 

DreamWorks 

7.45 

4 

8 

5 Realms of the Haunting 

inierolav 

7.42 

4,5 


9 Circle of Blood 

Viroin 

7.42 

4 

10 

8 Rama 

Sierra 

7,41 

4.5 


TOP CLASSIC/PUZZLE GAMES 


TOP SIMULATION/SPACE COMBAT 


1 You Don't Know Jack 2 


Berkeley SysieiTS_ 8.29 4.5 

2. You pop.'t Kn_qw Jack_3 Berkeley Systems 8.03 

3 3 You Don't Know Jack Movies Berkeley Systems 7.94 4.5 

4 5 Smart Games Chall enge 2 Smart Games Inc. 7.84 5 

4 Worms 2 MictoProse 7.67 


Activision 


7.66 


7 

6 

You Don't Know Jack TV 

Berkeley Svstems 

7.61 

2.5 

8 

7 

You Don't Know Jack Sports 

Berkeley Svstems 

7,58 

4.5 

9 

8 

Power Chess 

Sierra 

7.37 

N/R 

10 

— 

Mastermind 

Hasbro 

7.00 

3.5 


1 TOP SPORTS GAMES 


1 

1 

NHL 98 

£A Soorts 

8,64 

4 


4 

FIFA Road to World Cup 98 

£A Soorts 

8,51 

4,5 

3 

_ 

World Cud 98 

EA Soorts 

8.39 

4,5 

4 

7 

NBA Live 98 

EA Sports 

8,37 

4,5 

5 

6 

Jack Nicklaus 5 

Accolade 

8,16 

5 

6 

5 

NASCAR Racing 2 

Sierra 

8,13 

5 

7 

7 

NHL 97 

EA Soorts 

7.84 

4.5 

8 

7 

NBA Live 97 

EA Soorts 

7.8! 

4,5 

9 

9 

Diamond Mind Baseball 7.0 Diamond Mind 

7.72 

3.5 


— 

Tripleplay 99 

EA Sports 

7.72 

2.5 



1 TOP ROLE-PLAYING GAMES 


1 Might and Magic VI 

NewW. Comouting 8.91 

4.5 

^2 

2 Diablo 

Blizzard 

8.53 

4.5 

3 

3 Fallout 

Interplay 

8,32 

4,5 

4 

— Final Fantasy VII 

Souaie 

8.24 

4.5 

5 

4 Hellfire 

Sierra 

8.01 

4 

6 

5 Daggerfall 

Bethesda 

7,04 

4,5 

7 

6 Shadows Over Riva 

Sir-Tech 

6.44 

N/R 

R 

7 Lands of Lore II 

Westwood 

6.16 

N/R 

9 

8 Meridian 59 

3D0 

5.41 

3.5 

10 

9 Ultima Online 

Origin 

4.82 

1,5 


I ^ 

1 Longbow 2 

EA 

8.51 

5 

9 2 

2 Wing Commander: Pronhecv 

Origin 

8.46 

4,5 

3 

3 F-15 

£A 

8.26 

4,5 

4 

4 F-22ADF 

DID 

7.88 

4,5 

5 

5 Fighters Anthology 

EA 

7.72 

3,5 

6 

5 MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries 

Activision 

7.67 

4.5 

7 

7 Ml Tank Platoon II 

MicroPfose 

7.61 

3,5 

8 

8 Flight Unlimited 2 

Looking Glass 

7.57 

4,5 

9 

— Descent: Freespace 

IniciDlav 

7.55 

4 

10 

9 Flight Sim 98 

Microsoft 

7.24 

3.5 


1 ^ 

1 

Heroes il: Price of Loyalty 

NewW. Computing 8.99 

5 

r ^ 

2 

StarCraft 

Siizzard 

8,82 

5 

3 

3 

TA; Core Contingency 

CavedoQ 

8.76 

4,5 

4 

4 

Heroes II 

NewW. Computing 8.60 

5 

5 

5 

Red Alert 

Virgin/Westwood 

8.51 

4.5 

6 

6 

Total Annihilation 

GT interactive 

8.25 

45 

7 

7 

Red Alert: Counterstrike 

Virain/Westwood 

8,22 

4 

8 

8 

Age of Empires 

Microsoft 

8.03 

4.5 

9 

9 

Civ II: Scenarios 

MicroProse 

7.90 

4 

10 

9 

Civ II: Fantastic Worlds 

MicroProse 

7.88 

4 


1 TOP WARGAMES 


2 

Steel Panthers II Camp. Disk 

SSI 

8.4 

4,5 

r ^ 

3 

Panzer General II 

SSI 

8.33 

5 

3 

4 

Sid Meier's Gettysburg 

Firaxis 

8.09 

4.5 

4 

5 

Steel Panthers II 

SSI 

8.02 

4,5 

5 

6 

Battleground: Napoleon 

TalonSoft 

7.95 

4,5 

6 

R 

Battleground: Bull Run 

TalonSoft 

7.87 

4 

7 

9 

Tigers on the Prowl 11 

HPS 

7.76 

4 


7 

Battleground: Antietam 

TalonSoft 

7,76 

5 

9 

_ 

Steel Panthers Ml 

SSI 

7,43 

.3 

10 

10 

Achtung! Spitfire 

Avalon Hill 

7.34 

5 


COMPUTER GAMING WORLD » DECEMBER T998 


v.computergaming.c 




Games on unnumbered lines are tied with game on line above. ★ = Top game of genre. Red = New Game, AD = Adventure, RP = Role-Playing, Si = Simulation/Space 
Combat, ST = Strategy, WG = Wargame, AC = Action, SP = Sports, CP = Classic/Puzzle, Games are retired after two years and become eligible for the Hall of Fame. 




1 

Heroes II: Price of Loyalty New World Computing 

ST 

8,99 


51 

58 

Diamond Mind Baseball 7.0 Diamond Mind 

SP 

7,72 

3,5 


4 

Might and Magic VI New World Computing 

RP 

8,91 

4.5 


61 

Tripleplay '99 EA Sports 

SP 

7.72 

2.5 


2 

StarCraft Sllzzard 

ST 

8.82 



54 

Fighters Anthology EA 

SI 

7.72 

3,5 


3 

Total Annihilation: Core Contingency Cavedog 

AC 

8,76 

4,5 

54 

47 

Tomb Raider 11 Eidos 

AC 

7.71 

4 


5 

NHL 98 EA Sports 

SP 

8,64 


55 

48 

Worms 2 MicroProse 

CP 

7,67 

4 


7 

Heroes li New World Computing 

ST 

8.60 



55 

MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries Activision 

SI 

7.67 

4,5 


6 

Quake II Aaivision 

AC 

8,54 

4.5 


58 

FI Racing Simulation UbiSolt 

SP 

7.67 

5 


11 

Diablo Bliztard 

RP 

8,53 

4.5 

58 

87 

Shanghai Dynasty Activision 

CP 

7.66 

3 


12 

Quake Pack 1: Scourge id Soltware/Riiua! 

AC 

8,52 

4,5 

59 

54 

Twinsen's Odyssey Activision 

AD 

7,65 

S 


13 

Quake Pack 2: Dissolution id Software/Rogue 

AC 

8.52 


60 

23 

Quake li MP: The Reckoning id SoftwareJActivision 

AC 

7.62 

3,5 

11 

28 

FIFA Road to the World Cup 98 EA Sports 

SP 

8.51 

4.5 

61 

52 

Blade Runner Westwood/Virgin 

AD 

7.61 

4.5 


14 

Red Alert V'irgin, 'Westwood 

ST 

8.51 

4.5 


65 

Ml Tank Platoon MicroProse 

St 

7,61 

3.5 


15 

Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II lucasArts 

AC 

8,51 

4.5 


60 

You Don't Know Jack TV Berkeley Systems 

CP 

7.61 

2.5 


8 

Longbow 2 EA 

51 

8,51 


64 

64 

Zork: Grand Inquisitor Aaivision 

AD 

7,58 

N/R 

15 

15 

Wing Commander: Prophecy Origin 

SI 

8.46 

4,5 


70 

You Don't Know Jack Sports Berkeley Systems 

CP 

7,58 

4,5 

16 

75 

Sanitarium ASC Games 

AO 

8.43 

4,5 

66 

68 

Flight Unlimited 2 Looking Glass 

SI 

7,57 

4.5 

17 

5 

Unreal GT Interactive 

AC 

8.40 


67 

63 Triple Play 98 EA Sports 

SP 

7.55 

3 


17 

Steel Panthers II Campaign Disk SSI 

WG 

8.40 

4.5 


_ 

Descent: Freespace — The Great War Interplay 

AC 

7,55 

4 

19 

20 

NBA Live 98 EA Sports 

SP 

8,37 

4,5 


61 

Crusader: No Regret EA/Origin 

AC 

7.55 

4,5 

20 

22 Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith liicasArts 

AC 

8,35 


70 

75 

Virtual Pool 2 Interplay 

SP 

7,50 

4,5 

21 

19 

Panzer General II SSI 

WG 

8,33 



68 

Jagged Alliance: Deadly Games Sir-Tech 

ST 

7,50 

4 

22 

21 

Fallout Interlay 

RP 

8,32 

4.5 

72 

65 

Jack Nicklaus 4 Accolade 

SP 

7.49 

5 

23 

24 

Curse of Monkey Island LucasArts 

AD 

8,31 



65 

Myth Bungle 

ST 

7.49 

4,5 

24 

26 

You Don't Know Jack 2 Berkeley Systems 

CP 

8.29 

4.5 

74 

72 

Last Express Red Orb 

AD 

7.46 

4.5 

25 

31 

F-15 EA/Origin 

SI 

8,26 

4.5 

75 

74 

The Neverhood DreamWorks 

AO 

7.45 

4 

26 

24 

Total Annihilation GT interactive 

ST 

8.25 

4.5 

76 

89 

Steel Panthers III SSI 

WG 

7,43 

3 

27 

- 

Final Fantasy Vil Eidos 

AD 

8.24 

4.5 


71 

Interstate '76 Aaivision 

AC 

7.43 

4,5 

28 

27 

Red Alert: Counterstrike VirginAVestwood 

ST 

8.22 


78 

72 

Realms of the Haunting Interplay 

AD 

7.42 

4.5 

29 

41 

Jack Nicklaus 5 Accolade 

SP 

8,16 



81 

Circle of Blood Virgin 

AD 

7.42 

4 

30 

29 

NASCAR Racing 2 Sierra 

SP 

8,13 


80 

75 

Dungeon Keeper EA/8ullfrog 

ST 

7,41 

4.5 

31 

30 

Sid Meier's Gettysburg firaxis 

WG 

8,09 

4.5 


75 

Rama Sierra 

AD 

7.41 

4.5 

32 

34 

Age of Empires Microsoft 

ST 

8.03 

4.5 

82 

79 

Power Chess Sierra 

CP 

7.37 

N/fi 


32 

You Don't Know Jack 3 Berkeley Systems 

CP 

8.03 


83 

84 

Achtung! Spitfire Avalon Hill 

ST 

7.34 

5 

34 

32 

Steel Panthers II SSI 

WG 

8,02 

4,5 


92 

Dungeon Keeper Expansion EA/Bulifrog 

ST 

7.34 

4.5 

35 

36 

Hellfire Sierra 

RP 

8.01 


85 

94 

Close Combat: A Bridge Too Far Microsoft 

WG 

7.30 

4,5 

36 

45 Battleground: Napoleon In Russia TalonSoft 

WG 

7,95 

4,5 


87 

Age of Rifles Campaign Disk SSI 

WG 

7,30 

4 

37 

35 

You Don't Know Jack Movies Berkeley Systems 

CP 

7,94 

4,5 

87 

84 

PGA Tour Pro EA Sports 

SP 

7.29 

3,5 

38 

36 

Tomb Raider Eidos 

AC 

7,92 



79 

Forsaken Acclaim 

AC 

7.29 

4 

39 

39 

Civilization II: Scenarios MicroProse 

ST 

7.90 


89 

87 

Baseball Mogul Infinite Monkey 

SP 

7.26 

4 

40 

39 

Civilization II: Fantastic Worlds MiooProse 

ST 

7,88 


90 

86 

Flight Simulator 98 Microsoft 

51 

7,24 

3,5 


42 

F22 ADFDID 


7,88 

4,5 

91 

- 

Uprising 300 

AC 

7.23 

N/R 

42 

S3 

Battleground: Bull Run TalonSoft 

WG 

7,87 


92 

- 

Broken Sword: The Smoking Mirror Virgin 

AD 

7,22 

3,5 

43 

43 

NHL97EA Sports 

SP 

7.84 

4,5 


91 

Lords of the Realm II Sierra 

ST 

7.22 

4 


49 

Smart Games Challenge 2 Smart Games Inc. 

CP 

7,84 


94 

93 

X-COM: Apocalypse MicroProse 

ST 

7,20 

4 

45 

45 

Moto Racer EA 

AC 

7,82 



90 

MDK Playmates/Shiny 

AC 

7.20 

4.5 

46 

43 

NBA Live 97 EA Spoils 

SP 

7.81 

4,5 

96 

94 

Black Dahlia Interplay 

AD 

7,18 

3 

47 

37 

Tigers on the Prow! II HPS 

WG 

7.76 




Panzer Commander SSI 

SI 

7.18 

4 


50 Battleground: Antietam TalonSoft 

WG 

7.76 


98 

91 

Leisure Suit Larry 7 Sierra 

AD 

7.17 

3.5 

49 

- 

MechCommandcr MkroPtose 

ST 

7.74 


99 

- 

Soldiers at War SSI 

WG 

7,16 

2 

50 

51 

Battlezone Activision 

AC 

7.73 


100 96 

X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter LucasArts 

SI 

7.15 

3,5 


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COMPUTER GAMING WORLD • DECEMBER 1998 


/.computergaming. com 





HALL OF FAME 


Welcome to the Cooperstown of Computer Games. Games that broke 

the records, established the benchmarks, and held gamers in delighted trances for hours untold. 


Alone in the Dark (l-Motion, 1992} 

Lovecraftian horror goes 3D, with shifting camera angles 
adding to the creepy atmosphere. 

The Bard's TalefEA, 1985) 

Pioneered three-point animation, 3D color mazes, 
and auto-mapping. 

Battle Chess (Interplay, 1988) 

The Franklin Mint of computer chess games, with violent 
and funny animation disguising a solid chess engine. 

Betrayal at Krondor(Dynamix,1993) 

As rich and imaginative as Raymond Feist's world itself. 

Chessmaster (Software Toolworks, 1 986) 

The Cadillac of castling, it gets better with each version. 

Command & Conquer (VirginAA/estwood Studios, 
1995) Moved beyond Dune II with innovative features 
and multiplayer play, ushering in the current real-time 
strategy game explosion. 

Day of the Terjtacle (LucasArts, 1993) 

Offbeat sequel to Maniac Mansion; the interactive 
equivalent of a classic Chuck Jones cartoon, 

DOOM (id Software, 1993) 

Revolutionized PC action games and network gaming; 
now surpassed in technology, but not in gameplay. 

Dungeon Master (FTL Software, 1987) 

Trend-setting graphics, digitized stereo, and great hack- 
and-slash from a decade ago. 

Earl Weaver Baseball (EA, 1986) 

Revolutionary physics-based baseball game pleased both 
action and statistics fans: stil! unsurpassed more than a 
decade later. 

Empire (Interstel, 1978) 

W'/yil in space, this mainframe transplant brought 
elegant mechania, depth, and unending replayability to 
the PC. 

F-19 Stealth Fighter (MicroProse, 1988) 

A "thinking man's" sim, with great missions, in which 
sneaking around is as fun as doglighting. 

Falcon 3.0 (Spectrum HoloByte, 1991) 

Tough, detailed jet sim with ambitious Al, graphics, and 
connectivity to match its realism, 

Front Page Sports Football Pro(Dynamix, 1993) 
Physics-based system, good Ai, and unmatched career 
play make this the ultimate in pigskin play. 

Gettysburg: The Turning Point (SSI, 1986) 

First variable order of battle changed the look of all 
American Civil War games on the PC. 

Gunship(MicroProse, 1989) 

Great charaaer continuity, R&R for fatigued pilots, and 
even sick leave; best chopper fare until Jane's Longbow. 

Harpoon (360 Pacific, 1989) 

In-depth modern naval battles in realtime, based on the 
world's Cold War fears. 

KampfgruppefSSI, 1985) 

Its WWII East Front armor battles were a success on 
multiple platforms. 


King’s Quest V (Sierra On-Line, 1990) 

Redefined the graphic adventure with new parser and 
VGA graphics. 

Lemmings (Psygnosis, 1991) 

The lovable cartoon Lilliputians were hits on every 
platform. 

Links 386 Pro (Access Softtvare, 1992) 

Topped the leader board in graphics and realism for its era. 

M-1 Tank Platoon [MicroProse, 1989) 

Realistic sim that properly focused on armored formations 
rather than on single vehicles; good mission designs. 

Master of Magic (MicroProse, 1994} 

The atmosphere of Magx: The Gathering with the 
sophistication of Civ. 

Master of Orion (MicroProse, 1993) 

Remarkable diplomatic Al; deep and varied technology 
tree; aliens required radically different playing styles. 

Mech Brigade (SSI, 1985) 

Improved Kampfgruppe system for modern armored 
battles. 

MechWarrior 2 (Activision, 1995) 

A serious treatment of Mech design and resource 
management, combined with complex and addictive 
battles; legitimized "giant robot simulations. ” 

Might & Magic (New World Computing, 1986} 
First-person, maze-based RPG with huge environment 
and tough combat. 

M.U.L.E.(EA, 1983) 

A landmark multiplayer strategy game that had no 
weapons of destruction, just cutthroat competition that 
made economics fun. 

Panzer General (SSI, 1994} 

Entertaining wargame with an elegant interface, great 
campaigns, strong Al, good graphics, and impressive 
sound. 

Red Baron (Dynamix, 1990) 

WWI air combat with great graphics, incredible realism, 
and a versatile replay feature. 

The Secret of Monkey Island (LucasArts, 1990) 
Comedy that set new standards in writing quality and 
social sensitivity, 

Sid Meier's Civilization (MicroProse, 1991) 
CGW's #1 -rated game of all time; indescribably addictive 
world-conquest/exploration game. 

Sid Meier's Pirates (MicroProse, 1987) 

Combines pirate adventure, action, RPG, and strategy to 
make the most successful hybrid of all time. 

Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon (MicroProse, 1990) 
SimCity meets 1830, with robber barons for emphasis. 

SimCity (Maxis, 1987) 

Urban planning with fascinating consequences and 
challenges; the first great software toy. 

StarflightfEA, 1986) 

Depth, great characters, and a good sci-h storyline set 
early RPG standard. 


Their Finest Hour (LucasArts, 1989) 

WWII sim with great campaigns, realism, and many 
crew-member options. 

TIE Fighter (LucasArts, 1994) 

Most satisfying Star Wars space-combat game to date; 
lets you live on the dark side. 

Ultima III (Origin Systems, 1983) 

Coherency and surprising subtlety emphasized role- 
playing and set the tone for later Ultimas. 

Ultima IV (Origin Systems, 1985} 

High-concept RPG explored meaning of virtue and put the 
role in role-playing. 

Ultima VI prigin Systems, 1990) 

RPG as morality play, replete with moral choices and 
realistic environs. 

Ultima Underworld (Origin Systems, 1992) 

The first truly 3D RPG, and still the most convincing; its 
dungeon walls are nicely "painted” with texture-mapped 
graphics. 

War in Russia [SSI, 1984) 

More realistic than Eastern Front, it captured the essence 
of the largest land campaign in history, 

WarCraft II (Blizzard, 1996) 

More cerebral than most real-time strategy games, it 
offered deceptive depth and personality to spare. 

Wasteland (Interplay, 1986) 

Derived from Mike Stackpole's Mercenaries, Spies, and 
Private Eyes, this is the definitive postapocalyptic RPG. 

Wing Commander (Origin Systems, 1990) 

A hot space-flight engine, unfolding story path, and 
great characters. 

Wing Commander II (Origin Systems, 1991) 
Darker story, grittier feel, sound card advances, and 
tougher Al made this a sequel of sequels. 

Wing Commander III (Origin Systems, 1994) 
Surprisingly satisfying FMV space-opera didn't lose the 
essence of the space-combat game. 

Wizardry (Sir-Tech Software, 1981} 

Defined the computer RPG with maze-based viewpoint 
and atmospheric spell names. 

Wolfenstein 3-D (id Software, 1992) 
Smooth-scrolling action blastfest cleverly updated the 
original and put shareware back on the map. 

X-COM (MicroProse, 1994) 

Premier tactical squad-level engine combined with alien 
tech research and pop culture for a sci-fi game nearly as 
addictive as Civiuzation, 

You Don't Know Jack (Berkeley Systems, 1996) 
Fresh and irreverent. Jack turned trivia gaming on its 
collective ear to become the first mainstream CD-ROM 
with a gleeful gameplay bite, 

Zork(lnfocom, 1981) 

The progenitor of adventure games on the PC; its humor 
and challenging puzzles seem timeless. The game has 
since spawned a number of sequels, none of which has 
equaled the original. 


A 


/.computergaming.i 


COMPUTER GAAAING WORLD ■ DECEMBER 1998 


Upgrade This! 

Or, My Force-Feedback Joystick and I Would Like to Be Alone Now 


ontrary to what you 
might believe, maga- 
zine editors do not 
make a lot of money. 
Let me rephrase that. 
Gaming magazine 
editors do not make a 
lot of money, Think of 
it as simple supply and demand. 
If it's a brain transplant you're 
after, well, there aren't many 
people who can do the job for 
you — at least, not many who 
can do It in a way that wouldn't 
hurt you really, really badly — so 
you have to pay a lot for it. 

Sorry. That's what you get for 
needing a new brain. 

But any moron with a com- 
puter, bad posture, and an inflat- 
ed sense of self-worth can write 
a game review. I mean, really. It's 
not like any of us went to some 
kind of gaming graduate school 
to learn how to do this. 

So I accept my embarrassingly 
piddling salary without com- 
plaint, and I would certainly 
never stoop to whining about it 
in public even if I was bitter, 
which I’m not. The truth is that 
the executives here simply would 
not be able to take all the golf 
trips and Aspen retreats neces- 
sary to keep this magazine run- 
ning if i started demanding 
money so that my child could eat 
a healthy dinner for once. 

• • • • 

In any event, the only reason 
I'm discussing my financial mis- 
ery is that I just finally paid off 
the last of my debt to Features 
Editor Denny "Cement Shoes” 
Atkin, who sold me his Pentium 
233/MMX about six months ago. 
But instead of being able to 
rejoice at my financial freedom 


{and the fact that Denny will 
now allow me to keep my 
kneecaps). I find myself being 
bummed out and frustrated. 
Why? Because now that ( own 
the darn thing, I'm already 
beginning to feel the need to 
upgrade it. 

Whence sprang these feelings 
of inadequacy? From right about 



the time that I first tried to play 
Unreal, that's whence. Actually, I 
guess they first began in junior 
high school P.E. class, if you must 
know, but that's not a topic for 
discussion here. Rest assured 
that I have absolutely nothing to 
be ashamed of, and I wouldn't 
admit it here if i did. 

Unreal, along with being the 
most beautiful and boring first- 
person shooter ever (think of it 
as MYST for the testosterone set), 
is just the latest example of a 
game that "pushes the enve- 
lope" so far in terms of technol- 
ogy that, while it's a beauty to 
behold, it is nearly Impossible to 
play unless you're dedicated to 
spending all your money on the 
latest and greatest hardware. 


And UNREAL is just the begin- 
ning. As I worked on this 
month's Holiday Hot 100 feature, 
I kept coming across games with 
system requirements that were 
just horrendously high, or that 
were going to make me buy 
more components if I wanted to 
enjoy the game to its fullest. 

It's ridiculous. I mean, how 
does the hard-core gamer with- 
out the high-end salary keep up 
anymore? How are you sup- 
posed to plop down your hard- 
earned cash on a machine, 
knowing it's going to be obso- 
lete in a year? Just how often 
are we expected to buy a new 
CPU? You know what I think? I 
think there are just too many 
people in this industry who are 


using too much free equipment. 
They forget that everyone else 
out there has to spend real 
money on this stuff. 

And it's not just CPUs. It's 
speakers, 30 cards (my Voodoo 
card now needs to be replaced 
with a Voodoo^), game con- 
trollers, and more. When I 
became CGW's sports editor, I 
accepted the fact that I needed 
a gamepad. Then I realized i'd 
need a joystick, too, for driving 
games. Then I needed a force- 
feedback joystick. Then i needed 
a steering wheel. Now I need a 
force-feedback wheel. 

Coming up next year, 1 sup- 
pose, I'll need a mylar body suit 
and brain implants and life-size 
replica of a Formula One car 


right in my house. Would that 
make them happy? 

• • • • 

Yeah, I know. I don't really 
need any of this stuff. And i 
know that the trade-off for this 
expensive mania is cooler look- 
ing games than ever before — 
like Need for Speed Hi, a game 
so pretty that i would marry it if 
it would have me. 

But when you step back for a 
second and look at all the 
money that people are being 
asked to invest in the name of 
computer entertainment, it just 
gets kind of depressing and hor- 
rifying and a little bit sick. 

I can't stand it anymore. It's 
time for a revolution. It's time to 
stick it to The Man. Rise up, my 


friends. Unplug your Pentiums. 
Put those 386s and Mac Piuses 
back on your desks — and let's 
get some multiplayer Tetris 
going. The world's gone mad 
and it's time to stop it. 

And any of you who are right- 
eously disconnecting your force- 
feedback wheels out of protest, 
send 'em my way. I'll need the 
cables and pedals, too. S33 

What Jeff doesn't realize is 
that the next wave of computer 
games will all be backward- 
compatible with his Mac Plus, 
which now sits in his closet next 
to his CB radio and dial tele- 
phone. Tell him to quit his belly- 
aching and get back to work at 
jhgreen@zd.com. 



Any moron with a computer, bad posture, and an 
inflated sense of self-worth can write a game review. 


Computer Gaming ^VorW(ISS^ 0744-6667) is published monthly by ZO Inc. One Patl; Avenue, New York, NY 10016. Subsoiplion rate is S27.97 for a one-year subsctipiioti (12 issues), Canada and all other 
countries add S16.00 for surface mail. Postmaster: Send address changes to Computer Gaming World, P.O. Box 57167, Boulder, CO 80328-7167, Canadian GST registration number is 89371 0442 RT. Canada 
Post Internatiortal Pub’s Mail Product (Canada Disttlbutionj Sales Agreement No. 1058649. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY 10016 and additional mailing offices. Printed in the U.S.A. 


A COMPUTER GAWING WORLD * DECEMBER 1998 


www,toni(;uler/!amin{!.com 





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Order Code #801007 


(!w 


For faster service, please have your order code anil keycede avail able when calliny. 

Pricing not discoiintabla, *PricGs and s|iccifications valid in U.S. only and subi'dct in clinngn witlioul notice 'roi a comiilete copy o( 
Giiaramees nr Limited Warranties, vvrito Dell U.SA l P.. Ami: Warranties, One dell Way. Round flock. IX 78682. 'Windows 98 
required for USB connectivity. “SCSI contiollet not included .'At-lioiiie service provided pursuant to a service contract be^vee^) 
customer and a third panv provider, .nnri is not available in ccriam areas Techriiclaus wtll be drspaiched il necessary lollowing 
phone-based Iroutlesliooting with technical support personnel <'PC hi^gsiinebm •'4DX Max/17X Min “2« Ma</10X Mm 
; limiied to 53Kbps Upload speeds are loss Im the MKbps range) ard vary by r ' ' - • • 


pentiHm''J[ 


•OowTiload t . 

vary depending on line conditions 'Analog phone line and compatible se^■« equipment required ©flaclwanls 'compatible CdIr'oM 
products include. CD-ROM, CD-R, CD Audio Intol, the hilol Inside logo and Pentnirn aio registered Iradeniarts and Celeron is a 
trademark ol Intel Corporation MS, Microsoft, IntelllMouse and Windows are registerod trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. 3Dom 
I a registered trademark of 3Com Corpornlion. HP and DeskJet are registered trademarks of Hewlett Pac^td Corporation Trinitron 
■■■ “ " "'ompulerCorporation Alltightstescrved. 


I a registerod tradematkof Sony Corporation. ©199; 


Personal leasing arranged by Dell Financial Services L.P., 
an independent entity, to qualilied customers. Amount of 
monthly lease payments above based on 36-month lease. 
All above monthly lease payments exclude taxes which 
may vary; (lor example, Hartford City, IN sales tax 
"S6.34/month). Shipping cost due with first payment. No 
security deposit required; subject to credit approval and 
availability. Lease terms subject to change without notice. 



SOFTWARE 

DESCRIPTIONS 


Day ConnoclDirect Internet Service ♦ 3.5" Floppy Disk Drive ♦ 2 Universal Serial Bus (USB) Ports ♦ McAlee VirusScan 


IVOELL DIMENSION XPSR450 DELL DIMENSION XPS R40a /VflV DELL DIMENSION V333c 
ITIUM II PROCESSOR AT 450MHz PENTIUM II PROCESSOR AT 400MHz INTEL CELERON PROCESSOR AT333MHz 


'8MB 100MHz SDRAM 

13,6GB UltraATA Hard Drive 
lOOLS 17" (15.9" viewable) Monitor 
1 XPERT 98D8MB 3D AGP 
aphics Card 

)X Max" Variable CD-ROM Drive 
rtle Beach Montego A3D Sound Card 
]S-295 Speakers with Subwoofer 
mega Zip 100MB Internal Drive 
S Home Essentials 98 with Money 98 
ill Comfort Key Keyboard 
S IntelliMouse 

ograde to a 16.8GB Ultra ATA 
ard Drive, add $149. 

2399 

onal Lease°: $90/Mo., 36 Mos. 
f Code #501005 


• 9BMB 100MHz SDRAM 

• 1 0GB Ultra ATA Hard Drive 

• 1000LS 17" (15,9" viewable) Monitor 

• STB nVidia ZX 8MB 30 AGP 
Graphics Card 

• 40X Max - Variable CD-ROM Drive 

• Crystal 3D 64VWavDtable Sound 

• NEW harman/kardon HK-195 Speakers 

• MS Home Essentials 98 with 
Money 98 

• Dell QuieiKey Keyboard 

• MS IntelliMouse 

• Iomega Zip lOOMB Internal Drive, 
add $99. 

$1999 

Personal Lease°: S75/Mo., 36 Mos. 

Order Code #501006 


• 64MB SDRAM 

• B.4GB Ultra ATA Hard Drive 

• 1000LS 17" (15.9" viewable) Monitor 

• ATI 8MB 3D AGP Graphics 

• 40X Max' Variable CD-ROM Drive 

• Yamaha XG 64V Wavetable Sound 

• NEW harman/kardon HK-195 Speakers 

• MS Home Essentials 98 with Money 98 

• Dell Comfort Key Keyboard 

• /VfW Logitech First Mouse+(PS/2v) 

• Upgrade to ACS-295 Speakers with 
Subwoofer, add $40. 


$1599 

Personal Lease°: $B1/Mo., 36 Mos. 
Order Code #501007 


Microsoft Office 97 Small Business 
Edition v2.0 includes: 

• Word 97 

• Excel 97 

• Publisher 98 

• Outlook 98 

• Small Business Financial Mgr. 98 

• Expedia Streets 98 

Microsoft Home 
Essentials 98 includes: 

• Word 97 

• Encarla 98 Encyclopedia 

• Money 98 

• Works 4,5 

• Greetings Workshop 2.0 

• Puzzle Collection 



ADD-ONS & EXTRAS 


RINTER 


P DESKJET 722C 

PCMaga/ines" Editors' Choice 
Up to 8 pages per min, in hlack text 
Up to 4 pages per min. in color text 
Add a printer cable for $25. 


299 


CANNER 


P SCANJET 6200CSE 

Uses HP intelligent scanning technology 
USB* and SCSI** connectivity for easy, 
flexible installation 
1200 dpi enhanced resolution 
24-bit (1 6,7 million colors) hardware-calibrated 
color and full spectrum grayscale image processing 



$399 


OWER STRIP 


PC SURGESTATION PR08T2 

Protects your system against electrical surges 
8 outlets with block spacing for 3 outlets 
Includes 4-wire, 2-telephone line for protection 


$39 



A DAY 


ACCESS SPECIAL PROMOTIONS 
DESIGN YOUR IDEAL COMPUTER 
CHECK THE STATUS OF YOUR ORDER 
ACCESS 24HR. ONLINE TECH SUPPORT 


ImagiiiG playing your favorite video games on a Dell* 
Dimension" desktop or a Dell Inspiron" notebook. You'll 
be amazed at how fast you can sprint through corridors 
with a Pentium" II processor. Wipe out mortal enemies 
louder with a high-performance 3D sound card. It's a rad 
system you can custom configure with high-performance 
peripherals - surround sound speakers, impressive DVD 
~ you name it. Just call the number below or visit our 
home website to rule the universe at an affordable price. 


D^L 

www.dell.com 


TO ORDER TOLL-FREE 


877 - 198-3355 

[to order O^LINE 24 HRS./DAY 

www.dell.com/direct 

Mon-Fri 7am-1 1 pm CT • Sat-Sun 8am-8ptn CT 
In Canada: call 800-839-0148- In Mexico: call 001-80Q-21Q-7607 
GSA Contract #GS-35F-4076D 
I Keycode #88409 } 







D<»LL 


Hopefully you have a strong heart, because the new 1 BMB VRAM graphics card will 
take you to a dimension you never even dreamed about. Graphics are faster and more 
detailed than on our previous BMB high-end graphics card. 3D graphics games will 
be transformed into a hyper-realistic experience. There's no excuse to stare into 


$2499 


Personal Lease": S94/Mo., 36 Mos. 
Order Code #501013 


^ DIMENSION ' XPS R450 
PENTIUM^ li PROCESSOR AT 450MHz 


• 128MB lOOMHz SDRAM 

• 512KB Integrated L2 Cache 

• 10GB Ultra ATA Hard Drive 

• 1200HS 19" (17.9" viewable, .26dp) 
Monitor 

• NEW^mB STB nVidia TNT 3D 
AGP Graphics Card 

• 40X Max'" Variable CD-ROM Drive 

• Turtle Beach Montego A30 Sound Card 

• A/f(Vharnian/kardon HK-195 Speakers 

• 3Com'' USR V.90'^ PCI WinModem 

• 30-Day ConnectDirect 
Internet Service 

• MS" Home Essentials 98 with 
Money 98; McAfee VirusScan 

• MS Windows'"' 98/lntelliMouse' 

• Dell QuietKey’ Keyboard 

• 3-Year Limited Warranty' 

• 1 -Year At-home' Service 


dullsville again, especially for such a great price. Call or visit us at our home store 
at www.dell.com/direct. We recommend laying off the caffeine tor a while. 


www.dell.com 


TO ORDER TOLL-FREE 


877 - 298-3355 


For faster service, please have your order code and keycode available when calling. 


'"Personal leasing arranged by Dell Financial Services LP., an independent entity, to qualified 
customers; amount of monthly lease payments above based on 36-montl) lease. All above 
monthly lease payments exclude taxes which may vary (for example, Hartford City, IN sales 
tax S4.69/month); shipping cost due with first payment; no security deposit required: subject to 
credit approval and availability. Lease terms subject to change without notice. 



pentium*J[ 


I TO ORDE R ONLINE 24 HRS./DAY 

www.dell.com/direct 

Mon-Fri 7am-11pm CT • Sat-Sun 8am-8pm CT 
In Canada/call 8Q0-839-0148 
In Mexico,* call 001-800-210-7607 
[KByrnde <88407]